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'Most shoppers back carrier bag charge'.

Byline: Wayne Nowaczyk

FOUR-FIFTHS of Welsh shoppers now take their own bags to the supermarket to avoid paying for plastic ones, new research shows.

The study by Cardiff University claims there is 70% support for the 5p charge introduced last October and that 82% take their own bags shopping.

It said shoppers had adjusted "brilliantly" to the bag charge and Environment Minister John Griffiths said the level of backing could lead to changing attitudes to wider rubbish disposal.

Mr Griffiths was visiting Cardiff's Ysgol Gynradd Cymraeg Glan Morfa in Splott to view a pond and garden project part-funded via Keep Wales Tidy (KWT) by revenue from the bag scheme. He said the policy had delivered as promised and "led to very substantial reductions and fewer carrier bags littering our streets". "It's about greater take-up of recycling and awareness of the environment and providing funding for environmental projects like this fantastic pond," he said.

Mr Griffiths could not provide a figure for the total money raised for green projects by retailers via bag charges but pointed out that KWT alone had received pounds 105,000 to invest in community schemes. He said: "We will look at any way we can maximise the funding for environmental good causes from the carrier bag policy."

KWT chief executive Lesley Jones said: "The success of the carrier bag charge is good news for Wales' environment."

Research by Cardiff University confirmed shoppers in Wales demonstrated significantly more environmental awareness than those in England and that support for the nominal charge had grown, with 82% taking their own bags to the shops by April.

Volunteer Alex Ford-York, 22, said: "This project gave us the opportunity to see the difference we could make on the ground in our own community - it was amazing."

CAPTION(S):

* The 5p plastic bag charge has been hailed as a success * From left, Anthony Charles, nine, Bethan Willcox, eight, Tyla Ford, nine, and Beau Davies, nine, at the opening of the pond area at Ysgol Glan Morfa PICTURE: Rob Browne [umlaut]
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 5, 2012
Words:338
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