Plastic Bags: Fees and Charges

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the single use carrier bag charge; and whether he has plans to expand the scheme to other single use items.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The single use carrier bag charge introduced in 2015 has seen plastic bag sales in major supermarkets drop by 86%. This is equivalent to 19 bags per person in 2016/17 in England, compared with 140 bags each before the government introduced the charge. It has taken 13 billion plastic bags out of circulation in the last two years and last year alone generated over £51.6 million for charities and other good causes.

The HMT call for evidence on tackling single use plastic waste through the use of fiscal measures or new charges closed in May. A summary of responses was published in August ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget on 29 October.

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