The Three R’s, Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

When I was back at school the three R’s were Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. It’s a wonder we ever learnt anything at all! Of course nowadays, it’s all about protecting our environment and they stand for Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. (at least the R’s are in the right place!)

With the new levy on paying for your shopping bags from large retailers has made me think even more about how green I am. I did think I was pretty good, I use my recycling bins for all my waste paper, card, plastic, glass and tin. I put my waste food in my compost bin. I never leave taps running unnecessarily and I am careful with my energy use in the home.
However, I did use a lot of little plastic carrier bags for my shopping. On average I’d use 15 per shop! The ones that arrived home safely were stored safely away in my cupboard for another use. I did use many of them as bin liners, for taking things somewhere else or for storing things. In all I’d probably re-use about 50% of them. So, yes, I have a cupboard full of bags that I never remember to take back to the shop.

Did you know that in 2013, 8 billion carrier bags were given out in the UK, this is 130 bags per person (or more than 700 for me!) That’s 57,000 tonnes a year! For more facts about recycling see here how you can save £11.30 a day as well as the environment we live in.

With the new levy I decided to invest in some strong bags, I bought five on my last shop and was surprised that I managed to fit all my shopping inside. That’s only a third of the bags I used to use and they came home strong enough to use again and again. I’ve stored them in the car so I don’t forget to take them.

I believe I’ve found a way of reducing my carbon footprint even more.
How green are you? How have you found shopping since the new levy was introduced?

4imprint has a range of reusable and recycled products that could help you and your friends reduce your carbon footprint. They have kindly offered to provide my kids school with some of their fabulous Polo Shirts in return for my help in spreading this important message.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, let’s stay in touch, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and I love following back.


  1. October 14, 2015 / 10:28 am

    I wish people would stop moaning about the 5p, how hard is it take your own bags with you anyway x

  2. October 14, 2015 / 11:18 am

    It has been a ,long time coming this 5p charge and people need to get over it. I have shopped at Aldi for eight year and and always took my own bags

  3. October 14, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    It's made no difference to me to be honest as I've been doing it for years. In fact, I see it as all positive: used to hate seeing people waste bags and I resented waiting to have my shopping scanned while a load of bags I wasn't going to use were got off the rack.

  4. October 14, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Yeah also not made much of an impact on me. I normally have my shopping delivered without bag but if I pop in a shop I have my reusable bag anyway. I don't see why everyone are complaining so much.

  5. October 14, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    I have been using my own shopping bag for quite a while and on the odd occasion when I have needed an extra bag I will happily buy the bag for life as it will get used over and over. The 5p charge has been running in Scotland for a while now and it doesn't bother me at all

  6. October 14, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    I'm happy with the new charge for bags – although when we get our new pup I'm going to have to start buying proper poo bags! We always used supermarket bags with our last dog. It will be a good motivation to try and source some biodegradable ones.

  7. October 14, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    I have a stash of bags for life in the car boot and a handbag one in a pouch in my bag! I'm glad that people are reusing their bags more now- it's been a long time coming. They've used hessian bags for life on the continent for years!

  8. October 15, 2015 / 6:03 am

    We have three recycle bags at home and a general waste bin and my kids are very good at seperating the rubbish between them

  9. October 15, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    I try to always have reusable shopping bags in the back of my car and in my handbag and so I don't use many carrier bags. I'm really pleased about the new levy.

  10. October 19, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    I used to be awful at remembering reusable carrier bags, but now I keep them in the car boot so no excuse!

  11. October 20, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    I think this is brilliant that people have to pay now to get carrier bags, I think it's something that should have happened ages ago!

  12. October 22, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    I always used to leave my bags in the boot when I went into the shop, the big difference since the charge was introduced is that I now go back and get them!

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