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Do you have a carrier bag habit?  If so, it is time to break it and start reusing, reducing and recycling the plastic bags you have at home – according to the latest campaign backed by four UK environmental organisations.

Keep Britain Tidy, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), have joined forces and launched the ‘Break the Bag Habit’ campaign, in a bid to reduce the amount of plastic carrier bags handed out in England.

Calling for the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to introduce “a small levy on all single-use bags”, the group are confident that a carrier bag fee, similar to that introduced in Wales in October 2011, will reduce the amount of litter and waste on the streets, in the countryside and along the coastlines, and are therefore urging the public to support their cause.

Recent figures released by WRAP, show that we used 5.4 per cent more ‘thin-gauge’ supermarket carrier bags in the UK in 2011 than we did in 2010 and the bulk of the increase came from England. With Northern Ireland set to introduce a carrier bag levy in 2013, and Scotland currently ‘consulting’ on the issue, environmental groups feel it is time for Westminster to follow suit.

The use of single-use carrier bags in Wales has fallen significantly (70-96%) since the 5p levy came into effect, and while retailers were initially against it, reports indicate that public support for the Welsh bag charge has grown to seventy per cent of the population.

The ‘Break the Bag Habit’ campaign is calling for proceeds from the carrier bag levy to “be used to fund environmental and recycling schemes”, and ask the public to show their support by writing to their MP.

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