Hike in fee for single-use sacks in UK falls short, supermarkets say
UK government plans to double the current GBP 0.05 (EUR 0.04) levy on single-use plastic carrier bags will not dissuade consumers from their current habits, according to some UK supermarkets.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) this summer announced the hike to GBP 0.10 for April 2021. Ministers said this marked the government's latest effort to clamp down on plastic pollution.

However, most supermarkets have phased out single-use bags and introduced stronger “bags for life”, and the cost of these thicker varieties has also increased. One major retailer told that while it had seen customers reuse bags more often and buy fewer new ones, even at GBP 0.10, too many of the thick bags were still being used as single-use items.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s have recently raised the charge for such thicker bags from GBP 0.10 to 0.20, while others such as Marks and Spencer levy 0.15. Fees at Lidl range from 0.20 for basic reusables to 0.65 for freezer bags.

Defra said latest statistics show that the GBP 0.05 charge introduced in 2015 for retailers employing 250 or more people has produced a 95% reduction in plastic bag sales at major supermarkets.
17.11.2020 [246339-0]
Published on 17.11.2020

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