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SHOPPERS USE 10 MILLION MORE PLASTIC BAGS.

SHOPPERS in Wales used 10 million more single use plastic bags last year than in 2013 despite the 5p charge.

Since October 2011 shoppers have had to pay a minimum charge for any single use bag - with shops being able to do what they want with the profit.

New figures reveal use of the throw away carrier bags dropped by almost 80% since the charge was brought in by the Welsh Government. But the data, complied by waste reduction body WRAP, reveals that despite the 5p charge shoppers in Wales used 5.2% more bags last year.

In 2010, before the charge, each shopper was using an average of 9.6 bags per month - last year the number was 2.1. This means the number of single use carrier bags dropped from 350m to 80m between 2010-2014, while in England usage actually increased by 1.35 million.

The new figures come as the Welsh Government tries to extend the law allowing Ministers to set charges for Bags for Life, and force retailers to donate the profits to "any good cause".

Wildlife groups say the profits should be specifically given to green charities in the proposed Environment (Wales) Bill.

The Welsh Government says the Bill - which will need to go through four stages before being brought into law - will give them powers to take action to achieve higher levels of recycling, and increase food waste treatment and energy recovery. A spokesperson said: "The Bill puts in place the requirement that proceeds from the carrier bag levy must be passed on to good causes."

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jul 25, 2015
Words:262
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