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Carrier bag usage dropped by 147 million last year

This news post is almost 8 years old

Over £2 million has been donated to good causes after the introduction of the 5p charge in Scotland

Carrier bag usage in Scotland dropped by 147 million last year – according to the first official figures released since the 5p charge was brought in.

The reduction in numbers came despite the charge only being in place for the last 11 weeks of the year.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks hailed the figures as spectacular.

“It’s fantastic to learn that carrier bag usage in Scotland has dropped so spectacularly since the 5p charge was introduced,” he said.

"Before the charge Scotland consumed a staggering 800 million carrier bags every year, many of which ended up polluting our environment and threatening wildlife.

“The clear success of this initiative should encourage ministers to press on with other bold ideas to help make Scotland a zero-waste nation.”

The clear success of this initiative should encourage ministers to press on with other bold ideas to help make Scotland a zero-waste nation

The figures, published by WRAP cover the 2014 calendar year for the UK from seven major grocery retailers.

In Scotland, bag usage dropped from 193.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 64.6 million during the same period in 2014, suggesting that Scotland is well on track to achieve a reduction of more than 80% in the use of single-use carrier bags.

Zero Waste Scotland said the introduction of the carrier bag charge has also resulted in over £2m being donated to good causes.

Its Carrier Bag Commitment scheme sees retailers voluntarily sign up to donate the proceeds of bag sales to charities.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “In the months since the carrier bag charge was introduced, we’ve seen a tremendous change in Scots shoppers’ habits, with many more people now bringing re-useable bags.

“I congratulate people for the drop in single-use bags in circulation, as these single-use items usually quickly end up either as litter or landfill.

“Retailers have also embraced the charge and I would encourage those who’ve not yet done so to sign up to our carrier bag commitment, to enable clear reporting and donation to good causes.”



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Ray O'Donnell
almost 8 years ago
Symphony Environmental have an additive that can be simply included into any mix, before plastic production and at minimal cost. The plastic additive can be "timed" to fragment as tree leaves do, leaving almost nothing. The 5p plastic bag tax is a back-door-tax. Symphony product will clean up this environmental country-world-wide-land-sea-rivers-towns and country-side-wild-life pollution at a fraction of this "tax" that will. still have billions of tonnes littering, and criminally unaffected. (without a timed life cycle).