Plastic Bags

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:14 am on 2nd November 2006.

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Photo of Lord Dubs Lord Dubs Labour 11:14 am, 2nd November 2006

My Lords, does my noble friend agree, as one of the most effective and experienced parliamentarians and Ministers in this Government, that in order for a Back-Bencher to influence policy one has to have an impeccable case and to be a bit of a nuisance? We are still using 8 billion plastic bags a year, and despite the efforts of the supermarkets they have not made much of a dent in that figure. I am sure that the noble Lord goes shopping frequently, as many of us do. Does he agree that plastic bags are pushed at one in supermarkets, even if one has one's own bags? Do the Government agree that, if we cannot make progress voluntarily through this code, we will need a tax on plastic bags?