A survey carried out by BusinessWaste.co.uk, a recycling and disposal business, found people “will go to any length” to avoid paying 5p for a plastic bag.
Flower pots, cycling helmets and suitcases were all used by desperate shoppers in a bid to avoid the charge.
Thomas, 65, from the Midlands, admitted to using a pair of trousers tied at the ankles: “They were in the back of the car, they saved me at least 20p on bags, and hardly anybody laughed at me, so that’s a plus”.
Heather, 39, from West Yorkshire, who was particularly keen to save money on plastic bags, admitted to using dog poo bags. She said: “I’ve always got a few in my pocket, and they hold more than you expect. Better still, they’re free from the council offices!”
Plastic bag use in supermarkets has dropped by 80 per cent since the plastic bag charge was brought in on 5th October 2015.
Mark Hall, of BusinessWaste.co.uk, said two things became clear from the survey: “First, there’s no way on Earth you’ll part people with five pence for a plastic bag; and second, these same people will go to any length to find alternatives.”
Andrew, 35, a builder, took the logical step of using one of his building buckets to carry his shopping.
Another shopper, Sam, 34, admitted to filling coat pockets with their shopping.
She said: “I leave the supermarket looking like a very successful shoplifter, so getting past the security guard is always a challenge”.
Hall also said that people confessed that they “borrow” supermarket baskets and shopping trolleys to carry their shopping home.
He said: “if there is one downside to the plastic bag charge, it’s the number of abandoned shopping trolleys in the streets these days. It’s gone through the roof.”