The controversial Carrier Bag Tax is making headlines yet again, but this time it is not the Government and Environmental Groups making their voices heard, but those representing the packaging industry instead.
The Carrier Bag Consortium (CBC) and the Packaging and Films Association (PAFA) have joined forces to launch their own vigorous response to the latest carrier bag campaign by Keep Britain Tidy and three other environmental groups, and have written to both UK MPs and all major UK retailers urging them to consider the evidence.
The “Break the Bag Habit” campaign came to light after WRAP released its figures on the amount of carrier bags used in the UK in 2011, in a report that demonstrated a slight increase in overall carrier bag usage on the previous year.
The CBC and PAFA claim that the report hides “very positive steps being taken by the industry and the public to reduce overall carbon impacts through additional re-use, more recycling of unwanted bags and the greater use of recycled plastic in bags being produced” and that this new campaign is “Yet another attempt to override science by repeating spin which flies in the face of Environment Agency evidence.”
Basing their response on the (SC030148) Environment Agency Life Cycle Analysis, the trade associations representing carrier bag manufacturers and flexible packaging industry claim that the findings, “clearly demonstrates that alternatives to the lightweight plastic bag require far more of the earth’s precious resources to produce and have far higher impacts across a life cycle” and urge retailers to, “Stick to the voluntary code of practice.”
It looks as those the carrier bag tax dispute is not going to be resolved anytime soon, but it leaves us wondering, is this tax simply generating funds to fill a hole in charity incomes, or is it really beneficial to the environment?