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Single-use plastic bags cut by 80%

clip_image002In October 2015 the government introduced a 5p charge for single-use carrier bags in the hope that more people would use reusable carrier bags or ‘bags for life’. The early figures from leading supermarket Tesco suggest that the 5p charge has led to an almost 80% drop in the amount of single-use carrier bags being used.

This reduction has exceeded Tesco’s own expectations and is in line with the higher end of the government’s estimations. Prior to the 5p charge the average British shopper used 11 carrier bags a month and the cost to clean up plastic bag waste was around £10m each year. In England alone, 7.64 billion plastic bags were given away by supermarkets in 2014.

The 80% drop produced by the 5p scheme is in line with figures from Wales and Scotland. Single-use carrier bag charges were introduced in Wales in 2011 and in Scotland in October 2014. Stats from these countries suggest that the amount of ‘bags for life’ used has quadrupled and both have seen a 79-80% drop in the amount of single-use carrier bags used.

Importantly, the profits from the 5p charge will be donated to a charity of the retailers own choosing and the drop in the amount of single-use carrier bags being used should be beneficial to our environment. The long term goal of the 5p charge scheme is to reduce the amount of single-use carrier bags being taken home which will in turn reduce the amount of litter and waste produced by the product. This scheme is encouraging people to reuse carrier bags which is recycling in its most basic form and the more recycling we can do the better our environment will be.

At LSPS, recycling is a major consideration of ours and we are committed to recycling every possible item in order to reduce the amount of waste being delivered to our landfill sites. For more information on our waste recycling and waste disposal services please click here or contact us on 0800 083 7807 to find out how we can help.

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