Wednesday, 26 December 2007

What Annoys Me About ... Dustbin Bags Today

Well, I have finally moved house and was actually online within two days of getting into the new house compared to 6 weeks last time. The issue was then finding the various cables to connect to the system which was achieved yesterday. This is the third time I have 'downsized' so it is always an issue of having boxes of things that you cannot unpack in the new house. This is despite all the local charity shops having another two carloads of my belongings and another load going to the dump.

My biggest gripe in all this moving, and I did most of it myself as removal companies are: a) expensive, b) often unreliable, c) often fully booked up, is the problem with black dustbin bags. Traditionally the British used to move their possessions in old tea chests which were large wooden cubes that could be stacked. However, for most people sometime in the mid-1970s black dustbin bags became the norm. I imagine the rich have special boxes and so on, but for most of us it is a question of putting things into black plastic bags, lugging them to our car and then unloading them at the other end. Up until about two years ago these bags were made of thick black plastic and even when they had been used to carry clothes or ornaments or kitchen utensils they were still generally sound enough to use as dustbin bags. However, people have realised that they are a nightmare when thrown away as they do not biodegrade for centuries. In their place we now have less shiny, biodegradable bags which are great for the environment but totally unfit for purpose. In the past I have never had a dustbin bag split on me while moving house (something you know I do pretty often, I am now in the third house I have lived in 2007) but with these new feeble bags I shed one load on the doorstep of a charity shop, I had actual rubbish pour out a dustbin bag and blow across the street taking me ages to retrieve if I was to avoid upsetting my new neighbours, I had a bag of bedding split dropping it all on to the dirty street. I bought dustbin bags from three different supermarket chains but none was any better than any other. The only solution was to buy what are called DIY bags (from 'Do-It-Yourself') which are as thick as the old dustbin bags but much smaller so needing more of them, and, of course, they are more expensive.

I am all for recycling and reducing the impact on the environment (I have replaced almost every bulb in the new house with the low wattage 'eco' bulbs already), but I also believe in being able to buy things which do the job they are supposed to do and in the UK I can certainly not say that about dustbin bags, even when using them in dustbins, let alone for removals for which they have been in common usage in the UK for the past three decades.

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