In the footsteps of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, England started charging for plastic bags from October 2015, 5 pence per bag. The rule states that any large retailer with more than 250 workers must charge 5p for every single-use plastic bag they donate. A few months later, the results were surprising.
In 2014, they distributed over 7 billion plastic bags in UK stores, 40 bags per household. In the first six months after the measure, they fell to 640 million in England. It is an impressive drop of 85%. People have started to use reusable bags when shopping.
This figure follows the trend seen in the rest of the UK, with single-use bags dropping 71% in Northern Ireland, 76% in Wales and 80% in Scotland.
Almost £ 30million was raised which was donated to different causes such as charities, environmental causes and community groups. The success of large supermarket chains means that the measure is now being extended to small businesses, as has already been done in Scotland and Wales.
The measure is expected to help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills, as well as the number of bags that end up in the sea. It is estimated that around 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans each year. year. A study A recent found plastic bags from the UK floating in arctic waters.
“This will mean that our precious marine life will be safer, our communities will be cleaner, and future generations will not find mountains of plastic that take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills,” said the environment minister Therese Coffey.
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