Under new plans announced today by the UK government, the charge for plastic bags will be extended to all retailers and increased from 5p to 10p. In a consultation put forward by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the new plans are designed to cut the use of plastic bags further. This comes after the success of the 5p charge, which cut plastic bag sales in major supermarkets by an incredible 86%.
Plastic bags continue to impact hugely on the environment. Scientists are predicting for plastic in the sea to treble in a decade. Over one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals dying every year from eating or getting trapped in plastic waste.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “The 5p single use plastic carrier bag charge has been extremely successful in reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Between us, we have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to do even more to protect our precious planet and today’s announcement will accelerate further behaviour change and build on the success of the existing charge.”
Today’s news is the latest in a government drive on reducing the amount of plastic across the UK. For example, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has asked for all schools to eliminate their use of single-use plastics by 2022.