Wales sees steep fall in bag use after introducing levy / Significant sums raised for charity / Charge starts in England next month
The number of plastic bags handed out in shops in Wales has fallen by 71% since the introduction of a 5 pence (7 euro cents) charge in 2011, according to a report. The review for Welsh ministers estimated that between GBP 17m (EUR 23m) and GBP 22m had been raised from the charge and donated to good causes.

According to the report, 74% of Welsh people were positive about the charge and the use of “bags for life” and re-usable bags had resulted in an overall reduction in all bags of 57%.

Natural Resources minister Carl Sargeant said the charge had produced a significant shift in consumer habits. “I am pleased that almost four years on from the introduction of the charge in Wales consumer habits appear to be changing which is having a positive knock-on effect on the environment as well as raising a significant amount of money for good causes,” he said.

Major food retailers Tesco and Morrisons have raised significant amounts of money in Wales from the carrier bag levy. Since 2011, Tesco has raised more than GBP 2.3m for wildlife charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). In the 2014-2015 reporting year, Morrisons had received net proceeds of nearly GBP 400,000 for charitable causes from the sale of around 9.6m single-use bags.

Wales was the first UK country to introduce the levy on plastic bags in 2011 (see of 10.06.2010), followed by Northern Ireland and then Scotland.

Plastic carrier bag charges will begin in England next month for large retailers – see also of 16.03.2015.
14.09.2015 [232187-0]
Published on 14.09.2015

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