England’s Carrier Bag Tax Will Succeed In Reducing Usage, Poll Finds

carrier bagsEngland’s 5p levy on single use carrier bag will succeed in reducing the amount used, according to the respondents to an opinion poll. 

The levy, which came into effect in October, means retailers that employ 250 or more full-time equivalent employees are required by law to enforce a 5p charge for single use plastic bags.

The initiative is aimed at reducing the 8bn single-use plastic carrier bags used by shoppers in England every year.

According to Keep Britain Tidy plastic bags are one of the most highly visible forms of litter on our streets, roads, hedges, parks, trees, beaches and, ultimately, in our oceans, all with potentially devastating effects.

CIWM Journal Online asked visitors to the site whether the levy would succeed in it’s aim, after a survey by BigGreen.co.uk found the 5p charge was having little affect on changing shoppers’ behaviour, and suggested it should be increased.

The survey asked over 1500 shoppers about how their habits have changed in the first week of the 5p charge, and found:

  • 89% forgot their reusable bags, or didn’t have bags to begin with
  • 11% brought bags with them
  • 73% paid 5p per bag for one or more single-use bags
  • 21% bought reusable plastic or hessian bags at the till
  • 6% used no bags at all, or improvised

According to respondents to the CIWM Journal Online poll, however, the majority (92%) believe the levy will it succeed in reducing single use carrier usage and only 8% were of the opinion that it wouldn’t.

In CIWM Journal Online’s latest poll, we’re asking visitors: WRAP will look into recycling collection “consistency” after Defra Minister Rory Stewart says there are too many variations in England. Agree? (Full story here)


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