As of 1st October 2015, England was the final country in the UK to introduce a 5p charge for plastic bags. However, instead of going the whole hog like Scotland and Wales, England has typically done a mediocre job by only introducing the levy on large stores that hire over 250 full-time staff. But then it does seem to have hit us English hard, choosing to steal baskets rather than pay a menial 5p for a good cause.
We have increased our consumption of plastic bags by over 1 billion in the last four years, from 6.3bn to 7.64bn. We use over 20 times more plastic than we did 50 years ago and a study estimates that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste is dumped in the ocean each year. The plastic bag charge is just one small step to helping reduce plastic waste, but it needs to work hand in hand with recycling incentives, clean-up efforts and waste reduction programmes.
If there is one thing you to do to help reduce plastic waste, simply buy or make a recycled shopper bag and use it over and over and over again! Simples. Even better, make some for your friends too! This great initiative from MorseBags.com is inspiring people all over the world to make, use, and hand out reusable bags. Find out more here: http://www.morsbags.com/make-a-morsbag/