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Plastic bag charge extends to all shops

Plastic bag charge extends to all shops

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Small shops in England must charge 10p for carrier bags from today (21 May) for the first time.

The government expects the use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70-80% in small and medium-sized businesses now the charge has been expanded.

The move has been welcomed by the NFRN. National President, Stuart Reddish, said: “We’ve been pushing for this for the last six years and now we’ve finally got a level playing field that we can actually do this.

“A lot of smaller retailers do make a charge already, and that money goes into local charities.

“It’s about being eco-friendly. We’ve seen how plastic can devastate the oceans, and cause massive problems for landfill. I just hope the customers understand why it’s necessary.”

However, environmental groups believe the scheme still has a number of “significant” shortcomings.

Friends of the Earth has joined growing calls for the government to take a more ambitious approach to waste, by extending the charge to paper carrier bags, and introducing new rules to stem the growing problem of ‘bags for life’. Some retailers have reported substantial increases in sales of long-life bags – which contain more plastic – since ending the availability of free single-use plastic carrier bags in their stores.

Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner, Camilla Zerr, said: “It seems that many plastic ‘bags for life’ are being used just once, and not re-used for the bag’s lifetime, as is their purpose. So while the increased charge for single-use bags should see good results, it won’t fix bigger problems. That’s because plastic bags are a drop in a heavily polluted ocean.

“If ministers want to get to the root of this problem, they need to take a tougher stand against all single-use plastics and support re-use and refill.  For too long, the government has allowed a piecemeal approach which is why targets that are legally binding are now needed, and urgently. It’s these combined changes that will stop wasteful plastic in the first place.”

Reports from https://www.talkingretail.com/


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