Use of plastic bags in England drops by 59% in a year

Shoppers’ use of plastic carrier bags in England has continued to fall – by 59% in the last year alone – since the introduction of the 5p charge, according to recent figures.

Overall, sales of single-use plastic carrier bags have dropped by more than 95% in England’s main supermarkets since the charge was introduced in October 2015, government data reveals.

In the past 12 months, Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 226m bags – 322m fewer than in 2018-19.

The average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarket retailers, compared with 10 last year and 140 in 2014, according to the data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


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