Shoppers reveal unusual alternatives to 5p plastic bags

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Dog poo bags, a cycle helmet and a flower pot - these are just some of the solutions shoppers have come up with to avoid paying 5p for a plastic bag.

Research has revealed the lengths Brits will go to to evade the charge, which has resulted in an 80 per cent drop in the number of carrier bags used in the UK.

Waste recycling company Business Waste has uncovered the extreme methods customers will go to to find a replacement vessel to transport their shopping in.

A builder who responded to their survey said he had used one of his buckets, while another savvy shopper tied an old car blanket at the corners to make a sling for her groceries.

While another person pointed out that as dog poo disposal bags are free from local councils, they make a cost-effective option for carrying the shopping.

The best responses include:

- Builder’s bucket: “I’m a builder, I’ve got loads of buckets. What a money-saver.”

- Car blanket: “I do it all the time now, the till operators think it’s very clever.”

- Cycle helmet: “Which means I had to push the bike home. Swings and roundabouts, as they say”.

- Dog poo bag: “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!”

- Pair of trousers tied up 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.”

- Coat with loads of pockets: “I leave the supermarket looking like a very successful shoplifter, so getting past the security guard is always a challenge.”

- Baby’s pram: “An old-fashioned one with all the springs and such. All my children are grown up, mind you.”

- Flower pot: “One of those huge decorative ones from the homeware aisle. It was just the right size.”

- In the arms of my children: “I’ve got four, and they’ve got two good arms each. They’re not keen on the frozen stuff.”

- Suitcase: “Suitcases are completely under-rated as a shopping bag alternative. Think about it – they’re only used once a year when you go on holiday, so why let them go to waste? Top tip: Make sure it’s one with wheels.”