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do we need to have a 5p charge on every bit of plastic to drive the point home?

Is this a people thing?

I observed very often that cashiers routinely gave away much too many bags for customers that didn't ask for them, maybe to look generous?

I still see in McDonalds and Burger King that they insist in putting in the shelf a lot of ketchup bags, drinking straws or paper napkings that I don't asked for or want. Simply forbidding them to do that if not requested would save a lot of trouble.

In UK Burger King charge for sauces, McDo always give a handful even when I ask for "a barbecue sauce" or "2 ketchups".

I guess for McDo the sauce costs a penny or two and they want to minimise interactions as they are costly; but theft must be too high off sauce is freely available.

For McDo it might well be a strong differentiator, customers see them as generous because of the excess sauce. Might also cause customers to make less mess under the psychology of feeling endebted when receiving a "gift".

Re plastic, a packaging company CEO stated on BBC radio (R4) this evening the expected additional cost of replacing burger packaging with fully home-compostable burger packaging was around 1p and that they had similar solutions for all fast food packaging ready to go. Financial incentives to responsible packaging solutions seem necessary at this point.

I think it also has to do with retraining social expectations to know that people are expected to reuse bags at the grocery store or wherever. At the grocery stores here in Japan, they actually charge about 2 yen for using plastic bags, but the norm is to take plastic bags anyway, so it's more like they subtract 2 yen for not taking plastic bags. When buying takeout lunch, places will bag the lunchbox faster than you can open your mouth. There needs to be a way to disrupt the "plastic bag by default" mode of thinking.

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