PLAS­TIC BAG FEE ‘SET TO DOU­BLE’

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - PRESS AS­SO­CI­A­TION news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

T HE price of a plas­tic bag will dou­ble to 10p in Eng­land un­der new pro­pos­als – as the Welsh Govern­ment says it’s also con­sid­er­ing plans to fur­ther cut their us­age here in Wales.

The pro­pos­als will be in­cluded in a West­min­ster govern­ment paper which will go out for con­sul­ta­tion at the end of the year, ac­cord­ing to na­tiomal news­pa­per re­ports yes­ter­day.

The plans are said to have al­ready been ap­proved by En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Michael Gove and the Prime Min­is­ter.

Dis­pos­able car­rier bags is­sued by the seven big­gest su­per­mar­ket chains have de­clined by 86% in Eng­land since the charge was in­tro­duced in 2015, of­fi­cial fig­ures show.

When asked for a state­ment in re­sponse to the news, a Welsh Govern­ment spokesman said: “Wales was the first in the UK 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.”

Sin­gle-use plas­tics are one of the big­gest threats fac­ing our planet and coun­tries world­wide are tak­ing steps to tackle the is­sue.

Back in 2011, Wales led the way by be­com­ing the first coun­try in the UK to in­tro­duce a 5p charge for plas­tic bags.

Since then a lot has changed, in­clud­ing a new law in­tro­duced last week ban­ning shops in Wales from sell­ing bath­room prod­ucts con­tain­ing plas­tic mi­crobeads.

The tiny plas­tic par­ti­cles found in shower gels and tooth­paste are not biodegrad­able and are im­pos­si­ble to re­move once they con­tam­i­nate the wa­ter.

The ban has al­ready been in­tro­duced in Eng­land and Scot­land amid hopes to re­duce the 680 tonnes of the par­ti­cles used in the UK ev­ery year.

The Welsh Govern­ment is cur­rently work­ing with other UK na­tions on a UK-wide de­posit-re­turn scheme for drinks con­tain­ers.

CHRIS RADBURN

Cur­rently shops in Eng­land that em­ploy more than 250 peo­ple have to charge at least 5p per bag

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