Plastic bags in decline
The strategy of charging 5 pence per plastic bag is paying off, with an enormous reduction in plastic bags
The government introduced the 5p plastic bag charge back in 2015 in a bid to tackle the UK's out-of-control plastic waste.
July figures released by the government show that supermarkets have decreased their bag purchasing by almost a quarter - this equates to almost 300 million bags total.
Prior to the bag tax, people bought 140 bags each, every year. Now, it's just 19 bags per person, a reduction of 86%!
Michael Gove, Environmental Secretary, said, 'These figures demonstrate the collective impact we can make to help the environment by making simple changes to our daily routines...
It is only by working together we will reverse this rising tide of plastic waste finding its way into our rivers, seas, and oceans, and the catastrophic impact this is having on our marine environment.'
Helping Our Marine Environment
The government department centre for environment, fisheries, and aquaculture science (Cefas) released a study which shows 9 billion plastic bags have been taken out of circulation since the introduction of the 5p charge.
This has resulted in a 50% reduction in plastic bag marine litter (estimated) since 2010!
Experts have said the success of the plastic bag tax strategy needs to be replicated with other items including plastic bottles and disposable coffee cups.
Steps are being taken towards this, with deposit return schemes being considered.