A recent poll by the ‘Break the Bag Habit’ coalition of anti-litter groups and conservation societies such as Keep Britain Tidy and the Campaign to Protect Rural England, found that the majority of UK shoppers think that a 5p plastic carrier bag charge should be introduced in England, if it will help cut litter and waste.
Three-quarters said a small charge would encourage them to try to cut down on the amount of new plastic carrier bags they used, and of the 1,752 adults questioned, 56% agreed that a 5p levy was not unreasonable.
Members of the Break the Bag Habit coalition believe these latest figures confirm that the public are supportive of a single-use carrier bag charge, with Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign manager Helen Bingham, stating “This research shows that the public are ahead of the Government when it comes to supporting things that are good for the environment. It is time for politicians in Westminster to follow the lead of the Welsh Assembly.”
The Welsh Government introduced the controversial 5p carrier bag charge last October, in a move that caused uproar amongst retailers and consumers, but recent studies indicate that the levy is now widely supported across the country, and that the amount of single-use carrier bags handed out has fallen by up to 96 percent.
While Northern Ireland is set to introduce a carrier bag tax in April 2013, there are still no plans for a plastic bag charge in England, leading the campaigners to urge David Cameron and George Osborne to “ensure that a charge on plastic bags is included in this year’s Autumn Statement on the economy.”
Many countries across Europe, and indeed, the world, charge for single-use plastic carrier bags, so is it time for England to follow suit? Would you be happy to pay 5p for your carrier bags? Let us know.