Savvy Shopper’s real ‘bag for life’ as grandad reuses bag for 34 years
A savvy shopper has proved that you really can get a bag for life – by re-using the same plastic carrier for 34 YEARS.
Martin McCaskie still keeps a neatly folded Tesco plastic bag – made to commemorate the supermarket chain’s ’50 years of shopping service’ in 1981 – in his coat pocket for emergencies.
Grandfather-of-three Martin’s family were completely unaware of the vintage keepsake until he produced it at his daughter’s house on Monday night when collecting some magazines.
The retired process technician, from Mold, Flintshire, estimated that he had used the pristine red, white and blue number more than 2,000 times in the last three-and-a-half decades.
When the bag was made in 1981, the first Personal Computer (PC) from IBM was only just being registered and the first domain name on the internet was still four years off.
Martin, 72, said: “I can’t even remember which store it came from but it has served me well.
“My motto is ‘waste not, want not’. I always keep it folded in the pocket of my coat in case we ever need one.
“It’s proved very handy since the charge came in for plastic bags in Wales four years ago, but even before then I would never throw away a plastic
“I just use it as and when it’s needed, probably about once a week. You can’t put anything too heavy in it but it’s fine for groceries.
“It’s got a bit of a hole in it now but it still does the job. The bag is much thicker than the likes of the ones you get now.
“I suppose I’m a bit of a hoarder. I keep lots of old carrier bags. I used to have one from a shop in Prague that dated back to the 1990s but it’s gone now.
“This is definitely the oldest one I’ve got. I’ve had it nearly half my life. It all helps with the environment and recycling.
“I think the grandkids were pretty shocked when I took it out. It’s really stood the test of time.”
Martin, who lives with his wife Cynthia, 70, called round to collect some magazines off his grandson Ben Davies, 14, when he produced the retro bag that left the family in stitches.
His daughter, Helen Davies, promptly took a picture of the bag and posted it on her Facebook page.
Helen, 45, said: “We were all just standing around in the kitchen and, out of nowhere, dad pulled out this bag.
“We had a right laugh because it’s got a small hole in it but he still insists on using it. You could never tell he’s had it for 34 years because it’s so neat.
“I think it says something nice about people from that generation that they know the value of things and get a good use out of them.”
The bag, emblazoned with the Tesco logo, reads: “Golden Jubilee 1931-1981: Fifty years of shopping service.”
Martin, who volunteers at the Neuro Therapy Centre in Saltney, Flintshire, said he would continue to keep it wrapped up in his coat pocket for the foreseeable future.
Matt Tomlinson, store manager at Tesco’s Mold superstore, said: “It’s great to see that a customer as loyal as Mr McCaskie can rely on such a vintage Tesco carrier bag to carry his shopping.
“We’ve been proud to serve the community here in Mold for 26 years, and that bag’s been serving Mr McCaskie for even longer.”
Since the plastic bag was made, there have been five British Prime Ministers, six US Presidents, three Popes and 836 UK Number Ones.