UK doubles provider bag cost in warfare on single-use plastic

London, August 31

The 5-pence plastic provider bag cost at present in place throughout most retailers in England shall be prolonged additional to cowl all retailers and double to 10-pence from April 2021, the UK authorities introduced on Monday.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) mentioned the transfer marks a step up in its battle in opposition to single-use plastics and a warfare on plastic waste. It claimed main success in stopping billions of plastic baggage being offered and ending up within the ocean and setting because the cost was first launched in England in 2015.

“We have all seen the devastating impact plastic bags have on the oceans and on precious marine wildlife, which is why we are taking bold and ambitious action to tackle this issue head on,” mentioned UK Environment Secretary George Eustice.

“The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener,” he mentioned.

“I hope our pioneering track record on single-use plastics will inspire many more countries to follow suit, so we can take on plastic waste together and implement lasting change,” he added.

Under the plans, small retailers, these using 250 individuals or fewer who have been so far exempt from the cost, may even be introduced below the purview of the provider bag cost from April subsequent yr.

DEFRA statistics present the present levy, which stands at 5p and applies to any retailer using 250 or extra individuals, has led to a 95 per cent minimize in plastic bag gross sales in main supermarkets.

As a results of the provider bag cost, DEFRA says the common particular person in England now buys simply 4 baggage a yr from the principle supermarkets, in contrast with 140 in 2014. By extending the cost to all retailers, ministers wish to see bag utilization minimize considerably in small outlets as properly, with prospects incentivised to make use of long-life baggage created from extra sustainable and environmentally-friendly supplies.

The transfer follows a public session final yr, which proposed to double the cost and lengthen it to all retailers, and the overwhelming majority of respondents welcomed the worth hike.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all retailers – together with smaller outlets – already cost a minimal of 5p for plastic baggage. It was launched first in Wales in 2011, then in Northern Ireland in 2013, earlier than Scotland launched the cost for all provider baggage in 2014, and England rolled out its plastic bag cost in 2015.

The authorities says that doubling the cost will drive this success even additional and take the UK nearer to a acknowledged ambition to eradicate avoidable plastic waste via a 25 Year Environment Plan and construct again greener after the coronavirus pandemic. PTI

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