It’s very good news for the environment that the supermarket chain Morrisons is to abolish plastic bags for wrapping fruit and vegetables, and return to using recycled paper instead. Plastic, as Sir David Attenborough has pointed out, lingers in the environment, killing off nature and marine life, for between 450 million years and “forever”.

We are stewards of the earth and all living things, so it’s surely our bounden duty to reduce the use of plastic.

But there’s another reason I’m pleased to see the announcement from this major supermarket: it confirms my theory that if you wait long enough, everything comes back into fashion, or into use once again.

I recall many items being purchased in paper bags in my 1950s childhood. You bought a pennyworth of sweets and they were wrapped in a kind of cone of paper. Sugar was weighed out in paper bags, as was tea. In the country, butter was cut from a slab and wrapped in greaseproof paper.

How ecological!

Milk bottles were washed out, and returned to the milkman. We didn’t drink bottled water, but we did purchase other drinks – in bottles made of glass. Then we returned the bottle to the shop and retrieved a threepenny deposit on it.

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