Cardiff -- The distribution of single use carrier bags in Wales has reduced by up to 96 percent in some retail sectors since the Welsh Government’s 5p carrier bag charge came into force, according to new figures from retailers. Research also indicates that the 5p bag charge is now supported by 70 percent of people in Wales. The findings are drawn jointly from behavioural research undertaken by Cardiff University and from figures provided by retailers and the British Retail Consortium. The aim is to measure the impact of the Welsh Government’s charge for bags which came into force on 1st October 2011.
Up to 96 percent reduction
Returns from a sample of retailers showed a similarly positive picture, with food retailers reporting up to a 96 percent reduction in bag use, fashion retailers reporting up to 75 percent reduction and home improvement retailers reporting a 95 percent reduction. Food service retailers reported up to a 45 percent reduction in bag use whilst telecommunication retailers reported a reduction of up to 85 percent.
Another successful aspect of the policy is that retailers are passing proceeds from the bag charge onto environmental projects and local good causes and since October environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy has received more than £105,000 worth of retailer donations as a direct result of the bag charge.
Environment Minister John Griffiths said: “I am delighted that research and retail figures support what shoppers and retailers have been telling us for some time. The Welsh public have adjusted brilliantly to the Welsh bag charge and the majority now regularly take their own bags with them when they go shopping. Not only that but the research suggests that 70 percent of people in Wales are now fully supportive of the charge and of the changes we are trying secure in terms of litter reduction and behaviour change. I would like to thank retailers and shoppers for their ongoing help in making this policy – the first of its kind in the UK - a success. Quelle: Welsh Government