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Bag cost welcomed, however missed oppurtunity

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Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has welcomed the inclusion of the 5p cost for single use bags, which was introduced in the Queen’s speech on 4th June, while criticising the Government for not going far enough.

The organisation says: “It shall be a popular measure, will cut back littering and sends out the correct message that littering is unacceptable.

“But we’re hugely dissatisfied that the Government has chosen to proceed with its proposal exemptions – that paperbags, biodegradable plastic bags and smaller retailers will be exempt.”

The new laws will power supermarkets and bigger shops to impose a 5p cost for every plastic bag they hand over to customers from next 12 months; though to protect independent retailers, small and medium sized companies with fewer than 500 staff shall be excluded. The cost is anticipated to cut use of plastic baggage by as much as eighty% and lift £hundreds of thousands a yr for charities and good causes.

Keep Britain Tidy contends nonetheless that “the failure to study from the experience in Wales and the extensive evidence that a single scheme with out exemptions has worked properly and is common with the general public and retailers alike is a real missed alternative.”

The variety of bags used in Wales fell dramatically from one hundred thirty per individual annually to only 22 after a 5p cost was imposed on all retailers – regardless of size, in 2011.

The charity provides: “We shall be becoming a member of forces with our Break the Bag Habit companions and business to be able to see these exemptions overturned because the Bill goes by Parliament.”

Phil Barton, Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, stated: “It is a shame that as a substitute of wholeheartedly congratulating the Government, Keep Britain Tidy has to qualify its support for the measure. We welcome the bag cost as a major step ahead, however will proceed to campaign for it to reflect the successful scheme in Wales.”

Environmental campaigners say the plastic carrier bags, each used for just 20 minutes on average, take as much as 1,000 years to degrade. As well as inflicting severe harm to marine animals and birds, they blight Britain’s shoreline, with 70 bags littering each mile.

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