5p charge sees six billion fewer single-use plastic bags
The plastic bag charge is a huge success in the UK despite initial reactions against it…
In the UK, Scotland are always the trendsetters and England follow. England have just introduced the “plastic bag rule” but since October 20th 2014 in Scotland every retailer charged 5p for every new carrier bag issued.
The post that follows is what I thought at the time and let’s just say that a year or two on I have enough “bags for life” to last me a hundred lifetimes!
Why the charge? Didn’t the ozone layer grow back? Surely now we can be cut some slack on the “save the environment” nonsense? I for one will NOT be paying 5p for a carrier bag even if that means I have to juggle my shopping all the way home…
However, my supermarket circus skills are not what they should be so that’s not an option. What will I do? Well, I’m going to take my trustworthy holiday suitcase with me every time I go shopping…
It only gets used once a year at the moment so I really will be getting my money’s worth from it!
What about the all those shiny 5p’s that I will be saving? What will I do with them?
Thinking back to those days when my Gran would give me a 5p and seriously advise me “don’t spend it all in one shop” what did I do with it?
I. Bought. Sweets.
That’s exactly what I will do with the 5p that I am saving by not succumbing to the “paying for a plastic carrier bag scandal” that is about to sweep Scotland. The big question is, what five “penny sweets” would I buy? Let’s find out…
5 – Fruit Salad or Black Jack
This may seem like I’m spending 2p but I’m not really as these two delightful chews were part of a double act. If you wanted to be a bit posh and healthy by eating something that was a chemical combination of pineapple and raspberry you would have a Fruit Salad but if you wanted your tongue, mouth and teeth to literally turn black while enjoying the taste of coal then you would have a Black Jack.
Nowadays these two terms mean completely different things to me – a black jack is something that doubles my money and a fruit salad is an option I would avoid at all costs on a menu in favour of the cheesecake!
4 – Jazzles
I had no idea what these were even called until two years ago (thanks to Poundland) and even then I thought they were called Jazzies for a further year because I didn’t have the packet long enough to realize it was an “L” rather than an “I”. I’m pretty sure that when I used to get a “10p mix up” from the “ice cream man” who if I asked for these I would just point and call it “one of those”. Either that or he got so fed up with me that these were quite often used as a filler to make me up to my 10p quota…
They also came in both white and milk chocolate flavours which was always an added excitement. Sometimes you even got two stuck together and to this day I haven’t worked out if I was actually charged for one or two in those particular cases. If it turned out I was charged for two then I will be seeking legal advice on how to reclaim all my lost pennies from said ice cream man (who just happened to be called Jazz but I think that was coincidence rather than the fact he made the sweeties himself).
3 – Tattoo Bubblegum
Some kids weren’t allowed bubblegum. Most kids weren’t allowed tattoos. Every kid wasn’t allowed to talk to strangers . All kids I knew went to “the ice cream man” to buy bubble gum that came with a free “tattoo”.
Everyone thought they were so cool blowing bubbles and at the same time had a tattoo on the back of their hands. Whereas, back in reality, what they really did have was the ability to get some sticky pink gunk popping all over their face and a blob of ink on their skin that eventually had to be rubbed off with a scrubbing-brush by their mums (sometimes the skin came off too) before they went to bed!
2 – Sweet Peanuts
This particular sweet could not be purchased from the ice cream man and you had to go to the sweetie shop for this as it was one of those “can I get a quarter of” type sweets. I had totally forgotten about these until just now and have decided that tomorrow I am going on a “sweet peanut search“.
Perhaps this is where my love of mixing sweet and savoury comes from. I have always loved having crisps, then chocolate then back to crisps. Everybody used to think I was weird for that but it’s the “in thing” now with products like chocolate pretzels, caramel popcorn and Ritz Dairy Milk
1- Cola Bottles
Number one couldn’t have been anything else but cola bottles for me. There are the standard jelly types which I do like but the fizzy ones are my favourite by far.
As far as I’m concerned the fizzier and more bitter the better! If it doesn’t draw your cheeks in and make your face sweat at the same time then it’s just not worth the penny. I guess it doesn’t have to be just cola bottles that do it for me but any fizzy sweet. I’ve recently started buying Haribo Tangfastic mini packs and will quite happily empty an entire pack in my mouth at once and trust me – you feel the fizz!
What about you – what sweets do you remember? What do you think of the plastic carrier bag charge? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014