POLL: Victory claimed by conservation groups over plastic bags
Conservation groups have hailed as a victory the Government's decision to force supermarkets to charge five pence for plastic bags.
Cornwall based Surfers against Sewage, one of the Break the Bag Habit coalition, said it was delighted at the announcement this morning.
Campaign director Andy Cummins, who is spokesman for Break the Bag Habit, said it was great news.
“We are delighted that the government has finally listened to the Break The Bag Habit campaign and the thousands of supporters who’ve written letters and signed petitions calling for this moment,” he said.
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“Finally the government will help improve the environments we all love so much by implementing a policy that the Break The Bag Habit has shown to be popular with the public and effective in reducing litter.”
Break the Bag Habit, made up of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Greener Upon Thames and Thames 21, is the coalition that has led a call for the Government to reduce litter and waste by requiring retailers to introduce a small charge on all single-use bags.
The bid to banish the plastic bag also started in the Westcountry when five years ago the Devon town of Modbury helped push the issue up the agenda when it became the first community to ban plastic bags, instead only selling reusable bags.
The policy of charging for plastic bags is due to be announced by Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, at the Liberal Democrat conference this weekend.
The 5p charge is being introduced after the number of plastic bags used rose to seven billion a year – following a warning by ministers that if supermarkets failed to reduce the number used they would be forced to step in and take action.
It will come into force in 2015 and money from the levy will be given to charities who have to deal with the impact bags thrown away have on the environment and wildlife.