MPs agree to charge for single-use plastic bags

A charge of 5 pence will be levied on single use carrier bags starting in October, North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has confirmed.


A committee of MPs approved the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 on 10th March.

It means the legislation, which has been introduced to Parliament by Lib Dem Environment Minister and North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson, is due to come into force on 5th October.

Cornwall-based Surfers Against Sewage are one of many organisations including Keep Britain Tidy and the Campaign to Protect Rural England that have been campaigning for the change.

A similar scheme in the Republic of Ireland has seen the use of plastic bags reduced by 90%. Wales and Northern Ireland already charge for single-use carrier bags, and a similar law is being introduced in Scotland.

Dan Rogerson MP commented:

“Introducing this small charge will help to lower carbon emissions by reducing the oil used to produce the bags, lead to a more efficient use of valuable resources by stopping waste going to landfill, and will reduce litter and the problems carrier bags cause to marine wildlife.

“Whilst voluntary schemes to reduce the use of plastic bags have been successful, in 2013 seven billion single use carrier bags were issued by supermarkets in the England. Far too many of these bags - which don’t biodegrade - end up in hedgerows, littering out countryside and damaging wildlife.

“That’s why Liberal Democrats have made ‘breaking the bag habit’ a priority and are introducing this charge to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.”

It is expected that the money raised from the charge will go to fund good causes, rather than going to the government.

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