1. The purported reason for the tax .. is to encourage people to reuse plastic bags and thus help the environment.
Before, supermarkets would give away the bags for free. They would be very thin and cheap bags that cost a fraction of a penny to produce and supermarkets could afford to give them away. They also offered bags you could pay for, 10p bags which were made of a stronger more durable plastic… these bags were made using much more plastic in total, quite obviously.
Well now because the supermarkets MUST charge at least 5p the crappy plastic bags have disappeared and now ONLY the good quality bags are for sale ..
.. The net effect? More plastic being produced and used in bags. The other net effect? More money has gone towards the government who were only able to get supermarkets to stop doing the nice thing of giving you free bags by violently threatening them with legislation.
3. EVERYTHING IN THE SUPERMARKET IS WRAPPED IN PLASTIC. I can’t make this any clearer than it is. Walk around a supermarket. About 80% of the tens of thousands of products they hold are wrapped in plastic. Plastic. Plastic. Plastic. People are overflowing their trollies with things all wrapped in plastic. Some things are so intensely packed in plastic that you have to buy scissors packed in plastic just to get the plsatic off. IT’S ALL PLASTIC. But then a plastic BAG is a symbol of our wasteful society? It’s absurd. It’s legislation for legislation’s sake. It is just a giant inconvenience to customers and businesses and serves only the state and special interests ..
4. .. The law has actually made it HARDER for stores to identify thieves .. This is one of the many unintended consequences which predictably follows ALL government interventions into the marketplace.
... after all what is 5p? But it’s a metaphor for ALL state actions and without a core libertarian/economic underpinning to your own thinking then stuff like this will get by you all the time.