Compulsory bag charge to be rolled out in supermarkets
For those of you who aren’t aware, from October 5th all large retailers in England will be forced to charge for bags.
The aim of this is to encourage shoppers to opt for a more eco-friendly option.
Last year British supermarkets gave out a staggering 8.5 billion plastic bags to shoppers and It’s hoped that once the new 5p charge comes into practice, that number could fall by 71 percent.
The aim of the policy is to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags and the litter that they create. The charge will encourage customers to either reuse plastic bags or buy shops ‘bags for life’.
The Daily Mail has reported: ‘A report earlier this week revealed that 90 per cent of seabirds have swallowed plastic that has been dumped in the ocean – and scientists warned that by 2050, at current rates of pollution, that figure could reach 99 per cent. There are now about 580,000 pieces of plastic, from carrier bags and packaging, per square kilometre of sea. If swallowed, it can block birds’ guts, choke them to death or poison their internal organs. It is hoped that the 5p charge for plastic bags in England will reduce their use by between 75 and 80 per cent.’
There’s no doubt that the charge will be a positive step for the environment, but lots of other people are concerned about the damage it may do to their wallets. People have been accusing ministers of bringing in the scheme as part of a cynical tax grab after it emerged that VAT will apply to sales of bags meaning the government is set to make nearly £19 million a year!
Opinions are completely split on this one but what are your views?