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Plastic bag charge proving a success across England

Plastic bag charge proving a successFigures have been revealed that show that the new levy introduced on plastic bags is having an impressive impact on the amount of plastic bags being used in supermarkets.

In the six month period following the introduction of charging for plastic bags, it was estimated that 640 million plastic bags were used in major supermarkets across England. However, while this figure may sound high, it is a massive reduction when compared with data from 2014 which shows that 7.64 billion bags were used that year. The current trends mean that there should be a drop of 83% by the time a year has passed.

The charge was introduced in Wales in 2011, Northern Ireland in 2013, Scotland in 2014 and England in 2015. It requires any retailer with over 250 full-time members of staff to charge 5p for a single-use plastic bag.

However, shoppers can buy thicker, reusable ‘bags for life’ which are slightly more expensive but can be returned for a free replacement when they run out.

Why are plastic bags so bad?

- Plastic bags are hazardous to wildlife such as seabirds, sea mammals and fish. The tiny particles are often ingested, and birds often become entrapped

- In England, it costs taxpayers £10 million a year to clean up plastic bag waste

- Plastic bags are inefficient; they use lots of natural resources such as oil in creation but are often used for less than 20 minutes.

- Decomposition is extremely difficult and is said to take up to 1,000 years.

We take recycling seriously at LSPS. For more information or to find out how we can help with your waste disposal efforts, please visit our website or call us on freephone 0800 083 7807.

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