Campaign calls for plastic bag charge in England
Four environmental groups have got together to demand the Government force retailers to charge for single-use carrier bags.
Plastic shopping bags. Chances are if you do some shopping, you’ll leave the shop with your goods in one. But a new campaign wants to ensure that, in future, we pay for the privilege.
Last year, eight billion ‘thin-gauge’ plastic bags were issued in the UK, an increase of more than 5% on 2010. That works out at 254 new bags being issued every second!
And that’s why four environmental organisations have joined forces to call for a levy on single-use bags in England.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England, Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society and Surfers against Sewage want the Government to require retailers to charge a small fee for plastic bags.
A spokesman told us: " Plastic bags are a massive waste of valuable resources that often result in litter, and can be lethal to wildlife on land and at sea. England is the only home nation not to have a single-use bag levy in place or to be actively seeking to implement one. A levy would help cut the amount of litter and waste on our streets, in our countryside and on our coastlines. The Break the Bag Habit campaign is calling for any proceeds from the bag levy to be used to fund environmental and recycling schemes."
According to the people I spoke to, it certainly would. One man told me that he and his colleagues know to take their own bags if they are ever shopping in Marks & Spencer, in order to avoid having to pay. A pensioner told me that she avoids shelling out money unless it's absolutely necessary, so a charge would encourage her to bring her own bags.
And one passionate lady told me that she never uses plastic bags as they are completely immoral, and instead carries a resuable bag at all times.
Back in 2011 the Government was clear that it wanted to see plastic bag use drop. But it hasn't done anything since then to actually ensure that happens.
It may be that charging us for the privilege of using plastic bags is the only way to achieve that goal.
To find out more about the campaign, visit Keep Britain Tidy.
Do you think this is a good idea? Let us know in the Comments box below.
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