Shopping bag charge results in 650 million fewer bags in Scotland


Source: Greenwise Business

The Scottish Government has confirmed that retailers across Scotland have witnessed a massive reduction in the number of single use carrier bags handed out since the five pence charge came into effect a year ago.

Data from major grocery retailers indicate a reduction in plastic bag use of around 80 per cent since 20 October 2014 – equivalent to at least 650 million fewer bags being handed out annually compared to ‘business as usual’ in previous year. It has resulted in funds of around £6.7 million being donated to good causes.

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “With retailers in Scotland reporting a reduction of 80 per cent in the use of single use carrier bags, it’s evident that Scottish shoppers have embraced a new shopping habit. It’s not always easy to change our habits, but Scotland is proving it has this in the bag.

“Many organisations have already agreed to donate money raised by the 5p charge to good causes, by signing up to Scotland’s Carrier Bag Commitment. Other retailers across the country are now being urged to follow suit.”

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