I read with dismay the letter, “Find biodegradable alternatives, but we still need disposable bags” (Oct 7).

Large swathes of our planet are blanketed in plastic, non-degradable rubbish, much of it in the form of plastic bags. The oceans are slowly clogging up with the stuff. In parts of the Pacific Ocean, plastic particles outnumber plankton by 6:1. The damage to marine life is well documented, while ingestion of plastic bags kills an estimated one in two camels in the United Arab Emirates and roughly 100 cattle a day in Uttar Pradesh, India.

There is no need to use plastic bags. I have done without them since 2001. Is it that difficult to remember to carry a bag? People remember to take their keys and wallets when they go shopping.

In Wales, a 10-cent levy on plastic bags reduced their use at supermarkets by up to 96 per cent, and the money went to charity. A growing number of countries have banned them for environmental reasons.

The letter writer thinks that “we should not discourage their usage in the name of the environment while causing inconvenience to ourselves”.

Perhaps those who allowed their plastic bags to find a way into the ocean, resulting in the death last year of a young sperm whale in the Aegean Sea with 100 plastic bags in its stomach, also felt that it was too inconvenient to not use plastic bags.