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Carrier bag charge Scotland

October 25, 2014 at 12:29 AM

This week has seen the introduction of historic new legislation in Scotland, as the 5p minimum charge for single-use carrier bags comes into force.

With more than 800 million bags used every year in Scotland, the move aims to slash consumption and secure significant environmental benefits as a result.

The charge covers all retailers - from big supermarkets and food retailers, to small corner shops and neighbourhood takeaways. The development aims to encourage Scots to re-use disposable bags or switch to more sustainable options like 'bags for life' or other re-usable bags. Similar charges have been successful in other countries such as Wales and Northern Ireland.

Fast facts

1. Scottish councils pick up an estimated 7.4 million bags as litter a year
2. Last year on average, Scottish shoppers used around 150 single-use bags each, more than any other part of the UK, while shoppers in Denmark took only four per year.
3. Plastic bags are made from non-sustainable means, using oil and carbons, and take hundreds of years to decompose
4. Plastic marine litter kills an estimated one million seabirds and 100,000 animals a year globally
5. Similar charges in Wales and Northern Ireland have resulted in decreases in new bag use of around 80%

Tags: Carrier bag charge Scotland minimum charge carriers bags
Category: shopping

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