5p plastic bags to cut use by 71%?
It is thought that the use of carrier bags could fall by as much as 71% when everyone starts charging for them. From October 5th, all the large retailers will have to charge customers for every bag they take, and the money raised from it will go to charities.
It is thought that this policy is going to reduce everyone's need to get single use plastic bags, and start using the half a dozen bags for life they've got but thrown in a drawer and forgotten about.
There's a big habit to change though - reports show that British supermarkets gave out a whopping 8.5 billion single-use plastic bags in 2014, which is up by 200 million from the year before. Charging for all plastic bags has been on trial in Wales, and there, we've seen the 71% drop.
During the trial, Welsh businesses have raised between £17million and £22million for good causes from the sale of carrier bags.
There's already similar schemes in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Marks & Spencer have been charging for one-use bags for a while now. However, England has been slow on the uptake.
One of the things that has annoyed the people of England, is that VAT will apply to the sale of plastic bags, which means that the Treasury will get 1p for each carrier bag sold. The Chancellor will be rubbing his hands at the prospect, but in its own way, that could be an incentive to start using your bags for life - just to piss Gideon Osborne off.