Majority back 5p carrier bag move
Friday 21 September 2012
The majority of people think a 5p charge on single-use carrier bags should be introduced in England to cut litter and waste, a poll suggested today.
Three-quarters of those quizzed (75%) said they would try to cut down on the use of new plastic bags if there was a 5p charge on them, according to the survey for a coalition of groups pushing the Government to bring in a bag levy in England.
The poll of 1,752 English adults found that 56% agreed a 5p carrier bag charge was not unreasonable even in a time of austerity, as it had been proved to reduce litter and waste, although a quarter disagreed.
The "break the bag habit" coalition of conservation and anti-litter groups wants the Government in England to bring in a charge on plastic bags, which they say end up littering the streets, countryside and beaches or damaging marine wildlife.
The latest figures showed the number of carrier bags being given out by supermarkets rose by more than 5% last year across the UK, the second annual rise in a row, with customers using almost eight billion carrier bags in 2011.
But in Wales, where a 5p charge was introduced last October, the amount of single-use bags being taken home has fallen significantly. Northern Ireland is bringing in a charge next year and Scotland is consulting on doing the same.
England has no plans for a plastic bag charge, but 54% of those questioned in the survey agreed that the country should follow the lead of the other parts of the UK and seek to introduce a 5p levy.
The coalition says the polling results show that, despite concerns among politicians that people would be reluctant to face a charge on bags in difficult economic times, the English public would support such a move.
Samantha Harding, of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "We have known since Ireland introduced bag charging in 2002 that it cuts litter.
"We also know from Wales that retailers stand to make savings both in checkout times and in their overheads.
"And now we know that the English public would support bag charging, even in difficult economic times.
"So why, in the face of hard evidence, public and retailer support is the Government still stalling on an English bag charge?"
She urged David Cameron and George Osborne to ensure that a charge on plastic bags was included in this year's Autumn Statement on the economy.
Helen Bingham, Keep Britain Tidy's campaign manager, said: "This research shows that the public are ahead of the Government when it comes to supporting things that are good for the environment.
"It is time for politicians in Westminster to follow the lead of the Welsh Assembly and introduce a charge that will help reduce the amount of litter blighting our streets, parks and beaches."
A spokesman for the Environment Department said: "We want to work with retailers to help them lift their game to cut the number of bags they hand out.
"We are monitoring the results of the charging scheme in Wales and the outcome of the Scottish consultation on a charge."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Solar power: Subsidy cut will stop one million buildings installing rooftop panels
Pope Francis calls for a new system of global government to tackle climate change
Global warming: National Geographic map shows 'striking' retreat of Arctic ice sheet
Spotted handfish: Survival of Australian fish that 'walks' along the seabed hangs in the balance
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...