A recent news article caught my attention, in which it was suggested that supermarkets in Scotland were thinking of charging for carrier bags.

Some shops this side of the border have been doing this for some time, and we are certainly discouraged from accepting the free bags everywhere we shop. I have to say it changed my behaviour at the check out years ago.

Since then I’ve not approached a till without having planned my grocery stowage system. My car boot is filled with ‘bags for life’ and it would be a major miscalculation if I found myself ready with my debit card and no way of packing my purchases.

Land fill is a concern everywhere and its consequence is a blight for Swindon as well as the countryside. Any way of reducing the deposition of plastic bags into the ground is surely to be welcomed.

But it seems to me, while we’re being told to think about the plastic we throw away, we are also being fed contradictory messages.

Dog-walkers are encouraged to pick-up after their animals (rightly so of course) but what do they use?  Once they used a supermarket carrier bag, but is it any surprise that with that option receding, you can find ‘pooh’ bags available to buy?

I’ve never had any kids, but I believe disposal nappies have to be… well, disposed of, and most parents will want such waste sealed before they stick it in their bins.

So, in the absence of supermarket carriers, parents can expect to pay for specifically marketed plastic bags to do the job.

I reckon the most regular use for old supermarket bags is to line the kitchen pedal bin, so if we don’t get the free carrier bags, we’ll need to buy the bespoke items.

It seems we are not being encouraged to use fewer bags. We are being conditioned to buy more. The supermarkets get the PR of promoting a greener existence, and also get increased profits. Brilliant!

When I was a lad in Rodbourne we had a dustbin that was collected from our ‘backses’, emptied into the ‘dust cart’ and taken away to Barnfield tip.

We didn’t line the bin with a plastic liner and we sorted the newspapers to take to Jennings Street school to be sold to help pay for a minibus.

Now our wheelie bins have to have a plastic bag inside before we put any waste in them, and while we still sort the Advers from the rest of the outgoing refuse, no charity sees a financial benefit.

I’m a bit of a countryside walker (Please don’t call me a rambler.  That’s what this blog is for), and my walking boots are stowed in the back of the car most weekends.

Yes, they are in a supermarket carrier bag, which of course has a limited lifespan. Eventually the bag gets split, and eventually it gets chucked out. I’ve seen zipped walking boot bags available, but so far I’ve resisted the temptation (pressure?) to buy one.

I’m in the throws (literally, now I come to think of it) of moving house, and have been going through my wardrobe, sorting things for charity donations.

But the Wiltshire Air Ambulance donation container in my town centre says that ‘all donations should be bagged’.

Bagged in what? Should I go into the shop, buy some stuff I don’t need, get the supermarket bags and stick my charity clothes in them? And if I do, what does the charity do with the bags after they have emptied them?

So the dog walkers, the parents, the walker, charity donor and anyone with a bin, need to replace what they used to get for free … and pay for the privilege.

It’s possible that we use as many as before, but now they cost us real money.