The British government has announced that single-use plastic bags will double in cost from 5p to 10p in all shops from next April onwards. Shoppers will pay more for each bag in an attempt to reduce plastic consumption even more.
Data suggests the 5p charge, first introduced in 2015, has already reduced plastic bag usage by roughly 95 per cent in major supermarkets. Research shows that the average person in the UK now buys four plastic bags a year, compared to 140 per year in 2014.
Unlike the 2015 charge, which only applies to retailers employing 250 or more full-time staff, the 10p charge will be enforced in all shops from April 2021.
Fpcfreshtalkdaily.co.uk quoted George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, as saying the UK had a ‘pioneering track record’ on plastic bags: "We have all seen the devastating impact plastic bags have on the oceans and on precious marine wildlife, which is why we are taking bold and ambitious action to tackle this issue head on. The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener.”