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.