I found this interesting article online about supermarket shopping bags.
When compulsory charges for plastic carrier bags were introduced, most large retailers offered the option of the more expensive ‘Bag For Life’. The cost for these can range from 20p, to over £1, depending on the shop, and the size of the bags. The idea was to cut plastic waste, as the shop would replace your ‘Bag for life’ once it had split, or the handles had broken. The replacement was free, and the shop would arrange for proper recycling of the damaged bag.
The bigger, thicker bags use much more plastic in their manufacture, and it seems shoppers are not deterred by having to pay for them after all. Very few are taken back to the shops for replacement, and many shoppers regularly fail to reuse them when buying more groceries on the next shopping trip. They just buy more new ones instead. So most bags for life last little longer than one week, often dumped into the household rubbish where they once again become a problem.
I have a woven basket, and three heavy shopping bags that I have used for almost 10 years. I never forget to take them when I go shopping, and never have to buy any replacements until they literally fall to bits.
It seems we still have a long way to go when it comes to plastic bags in this country.