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Mairéad | all galleries >> Snapshots and stories >> pad_year2 > Making A Bags Of It
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Making A Bags Of It
27-JAN-2010

Making A Bags Of It

There's a growing consensus that the Government has made a bags of things. They told us that we were the
bees knees during the Celtic Tiger, that our economy was an example to the small nations of the world. Few listened
when economists like David McWilliams warned that the bubble would burst, that the property boom had to end. The
government told us we were in for a soft landing. We were in recession for almost a year before anyone realised it.
Now unemployment is at its worst since the 1980s when thousands, including many of my friends, took the boat or plane in search of work and a new life. There are hundreds of 'ghost estates' around the country and an estimated 300,000 houses, apartments and holiday homes lying idle. Architects, engineers, planners and solicitors have joined the dole queues alongside brickies and plumbers.
One of the few good things which the government did do was introduce a levy on plastic shopping bags in 2002. Shoppers are charged a 22cent levy for disposable plastic bags and the usage of these bags has dropped by 90% which means that fewer bags are going to landfill or littering our streets and countryside.
Supermarkets sell re-usable eco friend 'bags for life' while clothes and other shops provide paper bags for purchases.
Now one of the country's biggest supermarket chains is taking a legal challenge against the levy, one of the few good
pieces of legislation in recent years.
Many of the bags are quite attractive, brightly coloured with eye-catching logos. Of course I couldn't find one of those when taking this pic and had to make do with an old crumpled brown paper bag. So I made a bags of that too.

Nikon D90
1/60s f/3.3 at 50.0mm iso320 full exif

other sizes: small medium large
Available Light Images04-Feb-2010 06:50
What a great tale.. I like the abstraction of this one.. would maybe be better in B&W too :-)
pkocinski28-Jan-2010 20:42
I use a canvas tote bag that I bought 20+ years ago. It took some time to remember to bring it with me into the store always but it's in my brain now!
Keith O'Brien28-Jan-2010 19:06
An honest reflection upon the times we live in. Bag policy's a good one though, Wales will be following suit shortly.
Nicki Thurgar28-Jan-2010 17:02
2009 wasn't a good year for so many people (my husband included), fingers crossed this year people will start to get back into work (my husband included!). Good news re the bags though, I have a wide variety in my car boot :O)
Neal Nye28-Jan-2010 12:30
A beautifully composed shot. You've made the old bag seem attractive. Many are using reusable bags here too, even though there's no penalty for using the plastic ones.
Mary Terry28-Jan-2010 02:50
Nice image!
They've started to charge the bag tax in some areas around here too. I'm a fan of the reusable grocery totes and keep a stash in my car.
Nora van Beek28-Jan-2010 00:13
Very clever, Mairead! A very timely subject paired with an appropriate image. We are experiencing the same economic woes here in the states. High unemployment and home foreclosures that are through the roof. Very scary. ~V~
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