Article by, Ashish Patani
In the Queen’s speech yesterday, 4th June 2014, the UK Government announced plans to introduce a 5p charge on plastic carrier bags.
The 5p charge will come into place in October 2015, and aims to dramatically reduce the number of plastic carrier bags which are dished out in their millions each day by retailers, and most end up as litter and causing great harm to the environment by filling up landfill sites.
Some estimates put the use of plastic carried bags at over 7 billion per year, that’s something like 19 million plastic carrier bags a day!
Though, the UK Government’s plans will exempt biodegradable bags, paper bags and small retailers, to ease the burden’s placed on small businesses, the new charge will still be very effective at changing people’s behaviour and is an excellent start towards more environmentally friendly Government policies.
Personally, I’ve switched as far as possible to using the life-long reusable and recyclable bags for all grocery shopping. Believe it or not, it’s a lot easier having to carry one to two large sturdy reusable bags than half a dozen smaller flimsy plastic carrier bags which easily tear open.
In places like Wales, where there is already a charge on plastic carrier bags, their use has gone down by 75%! This is excellent news for the environment and hope to see this replicated across the whole of UK. Seems like finally, there is some common sense on the use of plastic carrier bags!
My advice to anyone still using plastic carrier bags, is stop and think! Do you really need to use that plastic carrier bag – can’t you use to reusable recyclable bag instead?
Don’t be lazy and switch today to using reusable recyclable bag.
“Carrier bag charge to cut litter announced in Queen’s speech”, Press Association, 4 June 2014
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