For someone working on a trade magazine there are few instances of satisfaction greater than seeing a story get picked up by the nationals and wider media.
PRW's piece on the Card Factory's ingenious way round the 5p plastics carrier bag charge certainly got what one used to refer to as ‘Fleet Street' all in a tizzy.
Bringing industry-related stories to a wider audience is an added bonus for those of us working in the trade media, and subjects like a multiple retailer ducking the 5p charge is sure to get consumers talking.
Readers' comments on these publications' websites were as broad in scope as one might think. Some were lucid and steeped in common sense, some less so.
Interestingly one Daily Telegraph reader made a valid point that's been raised time and again by those working in the UK plastics industry and which we have reported on several occasions.
Plastics types will often ask why the government has singled out plastic for a levy. Why can't other types of carrier bag, generally those made from paper, be hit with a charge. That's what happens in parts of the US, after all.
I rang the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to ask them why the bag only applied to plastic and asked if the government had plans add a charge to paper carrier bags. It doesn't, apparently, which many in the world of plastics packaging and beyond will find disappointing.
If the aim is to prevent litter it seems unfair that the material a bag is made of determines whether it is deemed ‘chargeable'. Where's the consistency, you might reasonably be expected to ask?
So why is there a distorted view about the potential for certain materials to pollute the environment and not others?
Well, consumers, in the main, think of paper as being biodegradable and ‘better' for the planet than plastic, which they see as being something evil and which will float/fly/lie around the environment for thousands of years.
Yes, plastic can last longer, but crucially that is one of its benefits. Properly dealt with at the end of its long life it can go towards making something new. Sadly, this is an angle that few on ‘Fleet Street' think worthy of reporting.
On the littering point, of course anyone in their right mind is appalled by the amount of waste of all kinds sloshing around our oceans and clogging up our streets and countryside.
But such detritus is the footprint of mankind. We need to educate people – and many who believe they know all there is to know on the subject need to be better educated – and persuade and cajole people to respect the world in which we all live.
Whether other retailers decide to emulate the Card Factory's strategy remains to be seen.