Liberal Democrats to expand plastic bag charge

6th March 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Ecosystems ,
  • Biodiversity ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Waste

Author

IEMA

Exemptions for charges on single-use plastic bags will be removed if the Liberal Democrats win the election, the party said today.

A charge of 5p per plastic bag is due to be introduced in England in October this year. The measure is predicted to raise £730 million a year for good causes and save £60 million in litter clean-up costs.

However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), such as independent retailers, are currently exempt from the scheme, as are paper and biodegradable bags.

SMEs give customers an estimated 3.5 billion single-use plastic bags and 35 million paper bags a year, while supermarkets and high street stores collectively give out around 293 million paper bags a year, according to government figures.

Deputy prime-minister Nick Clegg announced the move as part of a series of measures to reverse the decline of species and their habitats. “The facts are simple; single use bags blight our towns and countryside, they trap and suffocate wildlife, and plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade,” he said.

Other measures include rolling out two further tranches of marine conservation zones in English seas by 2015–16; developing a 25-year plan for Britain’s nature; providing stronger protection for bees; creating a one million km2 marine reserve in the south Atlantic, dedicated to British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.


Transform articles

Regulator publishes new code to tackle 'greenwashing'

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a new 'Green Claims Code' to ensure businesses are not misleading consumers about their environmental credentials.

22nd September 2021

Read more

The UK government must develop regulation to stop the financial sector from providing billions of pounds to companies that threaten rainforests worldwide, WWF has said.

10th September 2021

Read more

Over two million hectares of Brazilian rainforest could be legally converted to supply the UK with soy under a new anti-deforestation law proposed by the government, the WWF has found.

26th August 2021

Read more

The Better Business Act would put responsibility to society and the environment on the same footing as responsibility to shareholders, explains Chris Turner

30th July 2021

Read more

In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

30th July 2021

Read more

Thames Water has been fined £4m after untreated sewage escaped from sewers below London into a park and a river.

30th July 2021

Read more

In R. (on the application of Hudson) v Windsor and Maidenhead RBC, the appellant appealed against a decision to uphold the local authority’s grant of planning permission for the construction of a holiday village at the Legoland Windsor Resort.

28th May 2021

Read more

Are voluntary commitments enough to make the private sector act on waste? David Burrows explores the issues

28th May 2021

Read more

Government announcements on infrastructure reveal a direction of travel but key details are still unknown, says Huw Morris

29th January 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert