Plastic bag usage on the up
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Tuesday, 13 August 2013 08:28



It has emerged that UK supermarkets handed out 8.1 billion plastic bags in 2012 – the highest amount in four years, representing a 1.3% increase. The news has led to a call for a levy on plastic bags in a bid to curb usage. 

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) revealed the figures this month and their report showed that the number of reusable “bags for life” handed out during 2012 also fell. Supermarkets admit that they could do more, but that there were concentrating on other green goals. It has also been pointed out by the British Retail Consortium that some supermarket bags had been changed to make them more lightweight. 

It has been suggested that the rise in plastic bags use could be related to more shopping being done in smaller convenience stores and online where groceries are often delivered in bags. 

Other environmental groups including Break the Bag Habit have said that figures from Wales have shown that a bag levy will substantially decrease the number of bags used. They would like to see a levy introduced in England.

Defra have said that they are committed to this cause and would like to encourage the use of biodegradable bags. They say they are considering household budgets before making a decision on a levy.

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