Plastic bag levy win public approval

The mandatory 5p levy was introduced for plastic bags from large retailers such as supermarkets was introduced by the Government in 2015, and has won positive approval from the public, with 77 per cent of those surveyed said the levy was a positive step to protect the environment.

The survey, carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) also found that shoppers are adopting new habits since the levy’s introduction, with almost eight in ten people (78 per cent) saying they now reuse plastic bags more often and less than one in five (17 per cent) saying they resent having to pay for their shopping bags.

While they are not legally required to donate levy proceeds to a good cause, retailers have so far donated the majority of monies raised (£167m) to charity.

Klara Kozlov, head of corporate clients at CAF said that although the levy is having a profound impact on reducing single-use plastics, there are some retailers who have not fully seized the potential that this money can bring to charities: “Whilst the big supermarkets we work with – Co-op, Aldi, M&S and Sainsbury’s – have all donated the vast majority of plastic bag levies to a variety of great causes, there is still awareness to be raised and work to do to make sure more of this money finds its way from retailers to charities which are making such a difference in our communities.”

CAF’s research found that nearly seven in ten of us (67 per cent) agree that profits from the levy should go to charities, and over half of those asked (54 per cent) said they would be more likely to shop at a supermarket if they knew the shop donated the levy proceeds to charity.

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