Wales ready to get tougher on ‘throw away’ plastic bags
WALES is going to bring in new measures to crack down on people using disposable plastic bags in shops.
It was revealed yesterday that England’s 5p charge for plastic bags is to double to 10p.
The policy, which was first introduced in Wales in 2011, has slashed plastic bag use by more than 70% but campaigners say it is not enough.
The Welsh Government says it is considering a number of ways to reduce the number of bags purchased.
It is thought that increasing the charge to 10p is just one of these.
When asked if the Welsh Government is planning to follow England’s example, a spokesman said: “Wales was the first UK nation to introduce a single-use carrier bag charge and has recorded substantial reductions in carrier bag usage.
“We are currently considering ways in which we can further reduce the number of new carrier bags being bought by consumers.”
UK government environment secretary Michael Gove said the current 5p charge will be doubled and will apply at all shops across the border, not just large retailers, under the measures aimed at curbing plastic consumption.
The changes, which could come into effect in January 2020, are contained in a con- sultation which has been launched by the government.
Mr Gove said: “The 5p single-use plastic carrier bag charge has been extremely successful in reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Between us, we have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to do even more to protect our precious planet and today’s announcement will accelerate further behaviour change and build on the success of the existing charge.”
Single-use plastics are one of the biggest issues facing the environment, with a number of retailers curbing their use.
The issue made headlines when highlighted by the BBC’s Blue Planet II documentary earlier this year.
Oceanographer Dr Laura Foster, head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), said she hoped there would be support for the 10p charge in England.
Dr Foster said: “We know that legislation can directly impact on the amount we find in our oceans.”