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Plastic Bag Charge 'Set To Rise To 10p' In Every Shop To Stop Plastic Pollution

Rachel Andrews

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| Last updated 

Plastic Bag Charge 'Set To Rise To 10p' In Every Shop To Stop Plastic Pollution

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

The charge for plastic bags is set to rise to 10p in every shop in England in the war against plastic pollution, according to plans set out by the environment secretary.

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The fee currently stands at 5p, which was introduced in October 2015 in England to reduce the amount of plastic used by consumers.

This 10p charge could come into effect in January 2020. Smaller retailers are currently exempt from this current 5p charge, although supply an estimated 3.6 billion single-use plastic bags in a year alone.

Under these new plans, all shops would have to implement the 10p charge for plastic bags.

Schools are also being urged by Education Secretary Damian Hinds to cut down on single-use plastic such as food packaging and straws, with sustainable alternatives being introduced in their place by 2022.

The fee could rise from 5p to 10p. Credit: PA Images
The fee could rise from 5p to 10p. Credit: PA Images

In the past three years since the 5p charge has come into play, an estimated 15 billion bags have been taken out of circulation.

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.

"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."

Nearly two billion plastic bags were sold in the last financial year, compared to 7.6 million in 2014 before the fee was introduced to some shops.

The shocking latter figure equates to 140 per person in just England's seven largest supermarkets.

Plastic bags aren't the only single use plastic being clamped down on by the government.

Plastic pollution in waterways. Credit: PA Images
Plastic pollution in waterways. Credit: PA Images

Plastic straws may be banned completely within the next year under new plans to cut ocean pollution.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched a consultation to ban the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds, which can devastate the world's oceans and the wildlife within.

This ban could come into play between October 2019 and October 2020, according to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Topics: Environment, Life News, Real, Life

Rachel Andrews
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