Plastic bag use in the UK drops by 59 per cent

Since the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015, overall use has dropped by 95 per cent.

In the last year alone, the use of plastic carrier bags in England has fallen by 59 per cent.

The sales of single-use plastic carriers bags have dropped by 95 per cent overall since the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015, according to government data. Main supermarket chains such as Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative Group, Tesco, and Waitrose have only sold 226 million bags, 322 million fewer than in 2018-19.

The data from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs showed that the average person in England now only buys four bags a year from supermarket retailers, as opposed to 10 last year and 140 in 2014.

The environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “It is encouraging to see in such a short space of time the huge difference our plastic carrier bag charge has had in reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives.

“We have all seen first hand the devastating impact that plastic bags have on the environment, littering our beautiful countryside and threatening the world’s marine life. I am committed to driving this progress further and I hope this continues to inspire similar action across the globe.”

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