Carrier Bags: Shoppers Support 5p Charge
The majority of people think a 5p charge on single-use carrier bags should be introduced in England to cut litter and waste, a poll has suggested.
Three-quarters of those questioned said they would try to cut down on the use of new plastic bags if there was a small charge for them, according to the Break The Bag Habit coalition of conservation and anti-litter groups.
The poll of 1,752 adults in England found that 56% agreed a 5p charge was not unreasonable even in a time of austerity, as it had been proven to reduce litter and waste.
The latest figures showed the number of carrier bags being given out by supermarkets rose by†more than 5% last year across the UK, with customers using almost eight billion carrier bags in 2011.
But in Wales, where a 5p charge was introduced last October, the amount of single-use bags being taken home has fallen significantly.
Northern Ireland is bringing in a charge next year and Scotland is consulting on doing the same.
There are no plans for a mandatory plastic bag charge in England, but 54% of those questioned in the survey agreed that the country should follow the lead of the other parts of the UK and seek to introduce a 5p levy.
Samantha Harding, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "We have known since Ireland introduced bag charging in 2002 that it cuts litter.
"We also know from Wales that retailers stand to make savings both in checkout times and in their overheads.
"And now we know that the English public would support bag charging, even in difficult economic times.
"So why, in the face of hard evidence, public and retailer support is the Government still stalling on an English bag charge?"
She urged David Cameron and George Osborne to ensure that a charge on plastic bags was included in this year's Autumn Statement on the economy.
Helen Bingham, Keep Britain Tidy's campaign manager, said: "This research shows that the public are ahead of the Government when it comes to supporting things that are good for the environment.
"It is time for politicians in Westminster to follow the lead of the Welsh Assembly and introduce a charge that will help reduce the amount of litter blighting our streets, parks and beaches."
what do you think?
twice I have shopped in stores and they have wanted to charge for carrier bags on big purchases. I went to spend in excess of £100 on clothes and was asked do I want a bag for all these items? That will be another 5 pence. I told the store if you charge me 5 pence for taking all these clothes away then you take the clothes and I will shop else where. I had spent enough in the shop and refused the charge and left the shop. This has happened twice. The shop lost the sale and another shop got it because they did not charge me for the bag to take my purchases away. I suspect the other shop swallowed the bag charge in favour of having their goods sold.
Was it really that big a deal, and if you live in Wales, they have to charge you, by law,....as for the shop that didn't charge, not sure about how they did that,....it's a requirement of law, the shop assistants are powerless, as they also would be breaking the law...
Julie, I live in Wales and I do object to the bag charge. As I said I suspect they absorbed the charge in the price of the goods so they did not actually break the law they would have still had to pay it. My point is no shop in Wales is going to rip me off after paying a lot of money out to buy their goods and then have the front to ask me for more money to take them away Lost sale and a loony law as no way a bag will cost 5p to produce in some cases
just dont have them available at shops, so people have and use their own re useable bags
I would not mind if they charged as I take my own but I do think if they are going to charge you could at least make them better quality . You can only half fill them cos they break so easily x
I always ask for a bag for life...but get your point, Kimberly..
We rarely use carrier bags for our main shop, taking our own bags with us, but when we do, and when we use them on 'top-up' shops, we always recycle them as bin liners. If a charge is introduced, it will be a straight economic decision: are carrier bags or 'bin liners' cheaper? If it's carrier bags I'll have no hesitation in 'buying' them for use if I have to.
Living in Wales, you soon get used to it....and it's no big deal! Asda, eg, charge 6p for their bag for life....as for being charged for when you buy clothes, well, again I've no objection......it's 5p! If you want to take the moral high ground, well, it's your prerogative, I suppose, it doesn't bother me at all, the only thing with us, is we keep forgetting our bags for life, and have gathered quite a collection! Lol!....one objectio, primark paper carriers, shouldn't be a charge on those, your lucky if they last till you get to the door, I'm no McDonald's fan, but I think they charge you for their paper bags, too....
I don't see it being a problem being charged as Lidl do it all the time & I have never seen anyone refuse to pay for the bags. There was talk a while ago of shops taking them away so customers have to use their own but it never happened. I always use my own bags.
if we go to tesco and spend £20 on food and need 4 bags thats another 20 on a shp which amounts to a 1% rise in food costs, i am not in favour of charging for bags for this reason and anyway i dont believe it costs 5 p to make a bag more like 1p or 2p at the most so its another way of to anyone with any sense the money will be going to the goverment as a back door tax
How about the shops paying the customers with discount for us walking round advertising their stores,if they charge they should be plain, and anyway you have already paid for packaging and bags in the price you've paid for the goods -- just another rip off.
"It is time for politicians in Westminster to follow the lead of the Welsh Assembly and introduce a charge that will help reduce the amount of litter blighting our streets, parks and beaches." Its educating the morons who just throw litter in the streets, you dont see many carrier bags its mainly McD's and kebab shop litter and empty drinks containers,put a local charge on these places.
This has worked here in Wales and is not a drama at all - I usually buy the Bags for Life at Asda or Tesco and keep a stash at home for future trips, which I usually forget and so I have a cupboard dedicated now to our vast collection. If I don't want to pay the huge sum of 5p for another, I could just wise up and start remembering! Why are the bags in the article called "single use", though? You don't have to rip them to bits, eat them or ignite them once you're home - and they tend not to spontaneously combust either.