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 Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming and Food), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food), The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 11:14 am, 2nd November 2006

My Lords, my noble friend comes back to this issue a few months after he last raised it. He is absolutely right that making yourself a nuisance is the way to get things done. We hope that the majority of retailers will sign up to the proposed code and that we will have a statement before the end of the year. They have agreed to a target of a 25 per cent reduction by 2008 in the number of plastic bags given away and there is a possible target of a 50 per cent reduction by 2010. As my noble friend said, between 8 billion and 10 billion plastic bags are produced a year—134 per person—so a 50 per cent reduction would be very substantial.

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David Carpenter
Posted on 5 Nov 2006 8:51 pm (Report this annotation)

If we achieved the 50% reduction today, then by 2010 we would only use (4 to 5 billion a year) 16 - 20 billion plastic bags in that time. Sounds like a lot of waste to me.

As the voluntary commitment is only 25%, we're still looking at 12 - 15 billion in that time (even if we hit the target today)

Surely there is popular demand for a complete cessation of the practice?

I am sure many of those in the Lords remember a time before plastic bags - how on earth did people get their things from A to B in the past?