Since the Welsh government introduced the ‘5p single use carrier bag charge‘ on 1st October 2011, retailers and customers throughout the region have had plenty to say on the subject, and six months on, this controversial move is still attracting the headlines, but the good news is – the news is not all bad.
A recent report by the BBC indicates that supermarket giants such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Waitrose are all donating profits made from the 5p carrier bag charge to local or national charities, and as such, these charitable organisations are being boosted by huge donations.
So where is the money going? Well, Tesco is donating the full 5p received from every carrier bag sale to the RSPB Crymru, a move termed as “crucial” by the organisation, which claims that all donations will be put to good use benefiting the local wildlife and nature reserves.
The environmental organisation ‘Keep Wales Tidy’ is receiving donations from over 40 companies in the region such as John Lewis and Argos, and a spokesperson for the organisation has stated “The charge donated to Keep Wales Tidy can be spent on environmental improvement projects”, so it certainly looks like those 5p’s are being put to good use.
The aim of the 5p single use carrier bag charge is, and always has been, to reduce the “excessive use” of carrier bags in public circulation, but is it having the desired effect? According the BBC’s finding it is certainly moving in the right direction, with some retailers reporting a “90%” fall in the use of carrier bags.
So to sum up, the carrier bag charge is benefiting both local and national charities, it is encouraging the public to reuse their bags, and that in turn is reducing the impact plastic and paper carrier bags have on the environment – surely that has to be worth 5p!
Please see our Environmental Guide and Commitment statement for more information on our Environmental commitment.