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Plastic Bag Price Increase Introduced In England

Plastic Bag Price Increase Introduced In England

As of the 21st May 2021, the 5p charge for single-use carrier bags has doubled. This price increase applies to all businesses in England, regardless of size. The original 5p charge was put in place as an attempt to reduce plastic waste and it has been working so far - at least that’s what we’re told.

The 5p carrier bags came into force in England back in 2015, and according to the government website, “the number of bags sold by major supermarkets has gone down by more than 95%” since this charge was applied. Before this, the average person living in England bought around 140 throwaway bags every year, this has since dropped to four. 

By increasing the price and extending the charge to all retailers, we can hope to see a further decrease in the amount of single-use plastic bags being purchased. However, many leading public figures, NGOs, activists, academics, cross-party MPs and Peers are urging for an outright ban on single-use plastic bags and bags for life. 

Planet Patrol, who are campaigning for a ‘Big Bag Ban’ explain on their website that since the government introduced the 5p plastic bag charge in 2015, single-use bag sales may have dropped, but Bag for Life sales have "rocketed". They go on to say that suggesting any real environmental progress has been made is actually "incredibly misleading".

As we all know, plastic lingers around in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins. Plastic is also known to contribute to global warming. Scientists have detected tiny plastics (smaller than 5mm) in many foods and drink items. These microplastics break off bigger plastic items such as plastic bags.

Why not check out our alternatives to plastic bags?

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