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A recent press release by the Packaging and Films Association (PAFA), confirms that three trade bodies from the plastics and packaging industry, namely the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA), the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), and the British Plastics Association (BPF), have joined them in an alliance to put “science over spin when it comes to emotive attacks on carrier bags.”

Calling on both Scottish and English parliaments and politicians to abandon their consultations and ideas of introducing a carrier bag levy or tax, the group said, “There is no evidence to support the frequent suggestions that introducing bag charges delivers overall environmental benefits.”

Instead, they believe the popular press should be highlighting the success of PAFA’s Carrier Bag Consortium, a voluntary approach to reducing the amount of carrier bags handed out by retailers and used by consumers.

The group are also keen to point out that the public may not be aware that a compulsory charge would apply to all carrier bags above a certain size, including plastic bags, paper bags and even those made from recycled materials, and that a carrier bag levy will add an additional tax to their weekly shop.

“We intend to be pro -active in showing the convenience and environmental benefits of carrier bags, but remind people that there are far more pressing and important sustainability issues to be tackled,” said Peter Davis, Director General of the British Plastics Federation.

David Workman, Director General of CPI continued, “We do not accept that a charge on single use carrier bags is the appropriate way of dealing with litter, which is a social problem.  The continued attack on packaging is a distraction from other issues that are of greater environmental impact.”

Intent on providing the public and parliamentary officials with accurate information on carrier bags and their impact on the environment, the group will present their case to Richard Lochhead in Scotland and Lord De Mauley in England, and call from them to abandon any thoughts of introducing mandatory charges on carrier bags.

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