WT Skip Hire

5p Carrier Bag Charge: What's the Impact?

Posted on: October 30, 2015

At the start of this month, retailers employing more than 250 staff were told that they could no longer give away single-use plastic bags. Instead a 5p levy would have to be be charged, and the money logged separately from profits and donated to charity. The idea is to reduce the number of bags used and therefore the amount of plastic thrown away. As a company that respects the environment and recycles 90% of the waste we handle, this is an idea we back wholeheartedly.

It is too soon to know precisely how the 5p charge will change shopping habits in England, but for an idea of the sort of impact it is likely to have, we can look north of Hadrian’s wall to our enlightened neighbours in Scotland who introduced a similar charge over a year ago. The statistics are dramatic. A drop in single-use carrier bag use from 800 million a year to 150 million a year. Each Scot used to use approximately 150 plastic bags a year, but that figure has dropped to fewer than 30 and £6.7 million has been raised for good causes. Sainsbury’s in Scotland stopped offering single-use bags altogether.

5p carrier bag charge

The Scots are (perhaps unfairly) renowned for being more careful with money than us profligate Sassenachs - but it would be fantastic if a similarly proportioned drop could be seen across England. Our population is ten times that of Scotland.

Has the single-use carrier bag had its day? As individuals, we need to take responsibility for how we dispose of our waste. How many plastic bags have we stored under the sink until the amount becomes unmanageable and we just throw them away? As a society we need to think carefully about our waste disposal.

Thinking responsibly about waste disposal is very important to us at WT Skip Hire. If you care about the environment and need to hire a skip, we should be your first port of call. You can contact us by phone on 01493 668118 or email any questions to info@wtskiphire.co.uk.