Wales urges rest of UK to also charge 5p for carrier bags

Just one year after it added a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags within the region, the Welsh government is now attempting to get the rest of the UK to follow its example and thus reduce landfill wastes.

The change was first introduced in Wales back in autumn of 2011, and since then Wales has reduced the amount of plastic carrier bags that are used by about 96% in retail sectors. Almost 70% of the Wales population supports the change according to a new survey that was released by the Wales government.

This is surprising given the fact that Asda, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s were originally resistant to the idea as was many of their customers, but the levy has now been quite successful at their stores. In June of this year Richard Benyon, the UK environment minister, promised that the government would make an official decision on placing a charge on plastic carry bags by the close of this year.

Most shoppers stated that they would adapt to the rule if put in place with about three quarters of people asked in a UK poll reporting they would reduce their use of carrier bags if a charge were placed on them.

New figures from the Welsh government suggest that shoppers in the UK use as high as sixty bags per month. Welsh charities have benefited from the new charge as Welsh Government policy dictates that all proceeds from the new carry bag law be passed onto charity.

Many trusts and good causes have benefited from the tax including Keep Wales Tidy, the RSPB, Save the Children, Macmillan Cancer Care, and many more.

In 2011, WRAP, the Government waste body, announced that plastic bag usage actually increased by about five percent which the British Retail Consortium says is the result of people taking multiple smaller trips to the grocery store instead of one large weekly trip.