Supermarket plastic bag sales down 90% since introduction of 5p charge


Supermarket sales of plastic carrier bags has plummeted by 90% since the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015, according to new figures.

Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 490 million fewer single-use plastic bags in 2018/19 – a drop of almost half on the previous year.

DEFRA said the average person in England now buys just 10 bags a year from the main supermarket retailers, compared with 140 bags in 2014 before the charge was introduced.

Theresa Villiers, environment secretary said: “Our comprehensive action to slash plastic waste and leave our environment in a better state continues to deliver results, with our 5p charge reducing plastic bag sales by 90% in the big supermarkets.

“No one wants to see the devastating impact plastic waste is having on our precious wildlife. Today’s figures are a powerful demonstration that we are collectively calling time on being a throwaway society.”

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, CPRE litter campaigner, said: “There is also absolutely no reason why the charge shouldn’t be applied to all bags, paper as well as plastic, to bring an end to the use of these single use items altogether.”



10 July, 2019