Plastic bag usage down 86% in England

    Plastic bag usage down 86% in England
    Credit: Rich Carey

    Sales of plastic bags across England’s big seven supermarkets have dropped 86% since the introduction of the Government’s 5p levy in 2015, according to the latest figures.

    Customers of the country’s biggest supermarkets bought nearly a quarter fewer plastic bags last year compared to 2016/17 which is a decrease of nearly 300 million bags.

    This is equivalent to just 19 bags per person in England, compared to 140 bags since the government introduced a 5p charge in 2015 – a reduction of 86%.

    Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “These figures demonstrate the collective impact we can make to help the environment by making simple changes to our daily routines.

    “We want businesses to continue to look at what they can do to help improve our environment to leave it in a better state than we found it.

    “It is only by working together we will reverse the rising tide of plastic waste finding its way into our rivers, seas and oceans and the catastrophic impact this is having on our marine environment.”