Although many of us have got into the habit of reusing our plastic bags, single-plastic bags are still a huge issue. Seals, turtles, a million seabirds and 1000,000 sea mammals are killed every year by ingesting them or getting them selves tangled.
The average EU citizen used 191 plastic bags in 2010 and only 6% of them were recycled, according to the commission. But when Ireland used a compulsory charge for single-use plastic bags in 2002, their use was reduced by 90% within a year. In Wales, the compulsory charge began in 2011 and have already resulted in a 76% fall in plastic bag use. Northern Ireland and Scotland began their charges this year. And England will be following next year October, where all big supermarket chains and large stores will charge 5p per bag. It’s proceeds will go to charities involved in clearing up the environmental damage caused by the bags.
We certainly know that many shoppers will be irritated by the 5p bag-charge, but can’t the large supermarket chains provide strong paper bags instead? Or 100% biodegradable bags?