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Single-use plastic bags in England down 20 per cent since charges doubled

 The number of single-use plastic bags in England has fallen by 20 per cent after a 10 pence charge was levied last year.

The Government upped the cost of the bag from the five pence charge introduced in 2015.

On average, shoppers now buy three single-use bags a year compared to 140 in 2014.

The charges were brought in to discourage usage.

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However, environmentalists claim the meagre figures do not solve the world’s plastics problem.

Megan Corton Scott, political campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said:

“When the government congratulates themselves on the single-use plastic bag charge, what they fail to mention is the enormous increase in the purchasing of so-called ‘bags for life’.”

Greenpeace research claims household used more than 55 bags-for-life in 2019.

Ms Corton Scott said:

“Because these bags for life are thicker and more durable, they have a far greater environmental impact both in production and how they break down.

“The shift to bags-for-life saw supermarkets increase the amount of plastic they use.”

The Department of the Environment calculates bags-for-life need to be used four times to ensure they contribute less to climate change than a single-use bag.

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