5p bag charge aims to curb waste

SCOTLAND has revealed plans to charge consumers for single use carriers bags in a bid to curb plastic waste, leaving England as the only UK nation without plans to impose a levy on plastic bags.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead announced in June that retailers will charge at least five pence for shoppers to take home a single use carrier bag made from any material from October 2014. All the proceeds from the levy will be used for “good causes”, including environmental projects. The government estimates the move could raise £5m each year for charity. The move has been backed up by a report from the Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management (ACR+), and it has also been welcomed by Zero Waste Scotland. Support for bag levies was set it motion by the Climate Change Act 2008. The UK used almost eight billion single-use bags in 2011.