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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Plastic bag tax slashes usage

This news post is about 8 years old

New figures show plastic bag usage has been dramatically reduced

It has become a minor inconvenience to millions of Scots who now have to take their own bags to supermarkets and other shops since new legislation introduced a 5p charge for a plastic bag.

However, like or loathe it, the controversial plastic bag tax has reduced usage by 90% in some areas of Scotland, new figures show.

The mandatory levy for single-use carrier bags was brought in by the Scottish Government in a bid to tackle litter and a "throwaway" culture.

One month on, supermarkets have reported a dramatic reduction in the use of the bags since the charge came into effect on 20 October.

Asda says it has seen a 90% drop on average while Morrison’s say it is around 80%.

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said it was clear the charge for single-use carrier bags is working well.

“This is great news for Scotland's environment and wildlife, and proof that incentives like these can have a really positive impact for our planet,” he said.

"One only needs to stand in line at any shop these days to see that most people are opting not to pay for a bag because they’ve brought their own, meaning fewer bags ending up in landfill, polluting our oceans, or threatening wildlife.

“We hope it won't be long before we rival nations like Denmark where, after a charge was introduced in 2003, each person now uses only four plastic bags per year on average – the lowest plastic bag use in Europe."



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