A PLASTIC bag levy due to come into force next year may not ruffle as many feathers in Swindon as it may across the nation, for over 50s especially.

In a poll carried out for Saga – which provides products such as insurance and holidays for the over 50s – 70 per cent of more than 11,000 customers said the 5p charge to use a plastic bag would change their shopping behaviour.

Fifty-seven per cent said they intend to make more use of old bags when they do their shopping – while 10 per cent said they will make an extra effort to fit more groceries into their bags than usual.

More than a fifth said they would simply buy more reusable bags, while one per cent of those asked, insist the charge will simply make them buy less groceries.

But among a selection of over 50s in Swindon over the weekend, many said they had already adopted long-life bags, removing the need to request new bags every time they shop.

This Is Wiltshire:

Mary Skinner, 70, above, from Old Town, said: “We tend to use our own bags anyway and don’t tend to bother with carrier bags.

“I would think that those who do use 10 or more bags each time would cut it down though.

“I think a good idea would be to make the first bag free and charge 5p for each one after that.

“Assistants also shouldn’t be asking if we want a bag. Even if you have a few items they ask if you want a bag. Not asking might help cut the problem down.

“It’s force of habit more than anything and there’s nothing wrong with people changing their habits.”

This Is Wiltshire:

Mick Bates, 71, above, of The Weavers, said: “You can get these bag for life things now, I shouldn’t think the levy’s going to affect too many people. You can swap the bags for life when they get worn out too.

“I do have a large container at home which is full of plastic packaging. Until we started recycling we couldn’t imagine how much plastic we get through.

“I don’t feel it is an issue. It depends how poor you are, I guess.”

This Is Wiltshire:

Neil Henderson, 51, above, of Croft Road, said: “I buy the lifetime bags, though I sometimes forget them, so I think a plastic bag levy is a good idea.We should be cutting down on waste bags and this idea supports that.

“It’s not about the money, it’s more about making them think about it.

“People are more concerned about climate change and green issues now, and this is all part of that. Anything we can do to raise awareness is a good idea.”