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High Street retailers to reduce the number of plastic bag used by customers

 
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Date posted: 16th July 2012

Jessica Shankleman of Business Green has reported on how, due to the impact of the Welsh government’s 5 pence bag levy, some retailers in Wales have almost entirely eliminated the use of plastic carrier bags. Cardiff University have completed a study which concluded that, since the introduction of the bag levy in October 2011, many retailers have reduced, if not eliminated the number of plastic bags used proving the government’s and high street retailer’s intention to reduce the number of plastic bags being used. There was a reduction of up to 75% in the majority of industries, with food retailers sending out up to 96% less plastic bag packaging since the levy was introduced.

Also, there have been positives for Welsh environmental projects, such as Keep Wales Tidy, where proceeds raised from the bag charge have been contributed to the projects, with upwards of £105,000 raised in donations.

It seems, following in the footsteps of the Welsh success, Ireland will also introduce a similar levy in April 2013 and Scotland are also in discussions. With the increased interest and environmental benefits, this report is likely to put pressure on Westminster to concentrated efforts on retailers to reduce handing out plastic carrier bags to customers.

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