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THE BUDGET and plastic carrier bags

March 13, 2008

The Government today threatened to impose legislation early next year forcing retailers to charge for plastic bags unless they make “sufficient progress on a voluntary basis” by the end of 2008. 

The Government said that it would start to consult on how the charge would work and how to ensure that any money raised from the levy goes to environmental charities.

On February 29, the Prime Minister wrote in the Daily Mail: “I have already made clear that over time we should aim to eliminate the single-use plastic bag altogether. 

“I want to make clear that if government compulsion is needed to make the change, we will take the necessary steps.”

The comments came a year after he secured agreement in February 2007 from some 20 companies, including the main supermarket chains, to reduce the environmental impact of their plastic bags by 25 percent by the end of 2008.  However, the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), tasked with making sure they stuck to their commitments, found only a reduction of 14 percent over the first 12 months.

“Given the damage that single-use bags inflict on the environment, the Government is committed to taking strong action,” said the Treasury.

 Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see what that ‘strong action’ is, but maybe the Treasury threat of  “change over yourselves or we’ll legislate”, will be enough to give a few more a shove.

Or, maybe, we [you] will just have to start more pbf campaigns!



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