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Plastic bag 5p charge backed
8:50am Sunday 29th September 2013 in News
PLANS to charge shoppers 5p per plastic bag have been backed by a Worcestershire politician – who says they are wrecking the county’s environment.
Councillor Anthony Blagg, the cabinet member responsible for waste, says too many people walk away from places such as supermarkets with bags they don’t need.
The Conservative says the Government’s policy, which is planned to kick in by 2015, is about “educating” households.
“We’ve got to make people think about it before they pick up 20 plastic bags from the supermarket and take them away.
“It causes a major problem when it gets near wildlife and into the sea, and from an environmental perspective plastic bags can go all over the place.
“You see them blowing about, caught on trees and it’s clearly something we can be much better at. It’s an educational thing and a good idea to introduce,” he said.
Coun Blagg, who is attempting to get council backing for a controversial rubbish-burning incinerator at Hartlebury, also appealed to households to not replace plastic bags with heavier carriers.
In the Republic of Ireland charges started in 2002, and for several years afterwards the sale of heavier plastic bags increased vastly as shoppers looked for alternatives.
He said: “They brought the charges in over there, and because people bought other, heavier plastic bags it soon became counterproductive.
“We’ve got to be aware of that and as long as people are, this is a good idea.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the 5p charge during the Liberal Democrat conference earlier this month.
The new legislation will suggest charges be levied on customers at supermarkets and other “large stores”, but the coalition has yet to confirm how large.
A similar charge applying to the single-use carrier bags made from both plastic and paper is already in effect in Wales and Northern Ireland Retailers in Scotland will start charging for bags in October 2014, and other countries across Europe are also considering doing the same.
But the move has been criticised by the Taxpayers Alliance pressure group, which has labelled it a “new tax” which will have little impact on landfill rates.
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