Don Foster MP

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Foster calls for charge on plastic carrier bags

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, has called for a charge on single use plastic carrier bags to be introduced.

Figures recently released by the UK’s Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) shows that the number of free single use carrier bags used across England rose during 2011 by 7.5% in spite of their devastating impact on the environment.

In Wales, a carrier bag charge has had a substantial immediate effect with figures showing a 22% reduction over the year – 3 of these months were during the charge period. Modelling suggests that over a full year this reduction will equate to around a 90% drop in carrier bag use.

Across the world, countries have already introduced levies on plastic carrier bags while many others have introduced outright bans.

Commenting, Don Foster said:

“Our streets, landfills and coastlines are awash with plastic bags which are polluting our environment and killing our wildlife.

“It is absolutely staggering that here in England we continue to rely on the free single use plastic bag while developing nations such as Somalia, Botswana and Rwanda have already implemented outright bans.

“Voluntary agreements have been tried and failed so our approach must change. Evidence suggests that a small charge is easy to implement and delivers significant results.”

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