Plastic bag use down 97% since charges introduced, new figures show
The government has released new figures which show that the use of single-use plastic bags has dropped by 97% since a charge was introduced in 2015.
Meanwhile, over £200 million has been voluntarily donated by retailers to good causes in that time.
As a result of the charge, the average person in England now buys around three single-use carrier bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with around 140 in 2014.
The charge was last year increased to 10p and extended to all businesses.
This has helped further bring the number of bags used down by over 20% from 627 million in 2019/20 to 496 million in 2021/22.
Environment Minister Steve Double said:
“Our plastic bag charge has ended the sale of billons of single-use bags, protecting our landscapes and ensuring millions of pounds is redistributed to worthy causes.
“There is much more to do to tackle the problem of plastic waste.
“That is why we are building on our single-use plastic bans and introducing the deposit return scheme for bottles to fight back against littering and drive up recycling rates.”
“This is a huge drop from the 7.6 billion used in 2014 before the charge was introduced.”
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