Sales of single-use carrier bags drop by 95% in supermarkets since introduction of 5p charge in 2015




Shoppers’ use of plastic carrier bags in England has continued to fall – by 59% in the last year alone – since the introduction of the 5p charge, according to recent figures.

Overall, sales of single-use plastic carrier bags have dropped by more than 95% in England’s main supermarkets since the charge was introduced in October 2015, government data reveals.

In the past 12 months, Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, the Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 226m bags – 322m fewer than in 2018-19.

The average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarket retailers, compared with 10 last year and 140 in 2014, according to the data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).


The environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “It is encouraging to see in such a short space of time the huge difference our plastic carrier bag charge has had in reducing the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives.

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“We have all seen first hand the devastating impact that plastic bags have on the environment, littering our beautiful countryside and threatening the world’s marine life. I am committed to driving this progress further and I hope this continues to inspire similar action across the globe.”

Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi on Unsplash