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5p plastic carrier charge
November 2015

What has changed?

Shoppers are now charged 5p for every new plastic bag they use at large stores in England.

The charge applies only to shops or chains with 250 or more full-time employees.

Plastic bags at airport shops or on board trains, planes or ships, will not be included, and neither will paper bags.

England is the last country in the UK to start charging for plastic bags.

Ministers think introducing a 5p charge will stop shoppers using as many new bags, and encourage people to re-use old ones.

The government hopes to see an 80% reduction in plastic bag use in supermarkets, and a 50% fall on the high street.

Over the next decade it hopes the charge will create:

  60m savings in litter clean-up costs

  13m in carbon savings

 

 

What is being done elsewhere?

In 2011, Wales started charging 5p per bag and saw a 71% drop in the number used by customers.

Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced their charges in 2014 and 2013 respectively and have also seen significant drops in usage.

In Scotland the charge was introduced in the final 11 weeks of 2014 and figures show a drop of 18% when compared with the statistics for the previous year. Similarly, in Northern Ireland in 2014 there was a 42.6% annual reduction following a previous drop of 71%, after the carrier bag charge was introduced.

But the UK is not alone in trying to limit use.

In 2002, Bangladesh became the first country in the world to ban thinner plastic bags altogether, after they were found to have choked local drainage systems during floods.

Other countries including South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, China, and Italy followed suit.

More recently Mexico City and the US state of California imposed bans.

 

What's been the reaction?

A survey of more than 2,000 people commissioned by Break the Bag Habit coalition - which includes the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Keep Britain Tidy among others - found that 62% of people in England agreed a 5p charge was "reasonable".

 

What other bags are available?

At Something Different we offer a huge range of bags in many materials.  Kraft paper & gloss paper bags are ideal for events but for longer term use we recommend cotton, canvas, jute, polypropylene or polyester.  There is a very wide variety of sizes & colours  with many different print options.

All our bags are ethically sourced and have guaranteed quality.  We have supplied bags for over 20 years, but the new demand has been really high.  Folding bags that will fit in pockets or handbags are particularly popular as people get into the habit of having a bag with them whenever they are out shopping.  Some bags have a very fast delivery time, but most are 2-3 weeks.  Bespoke bags may take longer if sourced from EU or Far East.

Many examples are shown on our website www.somethingdifferent.co.uk or call 01905 381162 for a friendly discussion with experienced staff

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