petition to charge for single use carrier bags



Rory received a petition, on Friday 17th December, calling for the introduction of a compulsory charge on the issuing of single use carrier bags.

The petition, which was prepared  by the Transition Town group; Penrith Action for Community Transition (PACT) urges Government to exercise  the power it has under section 77 (and Schedule 6) of the Climate Change Act to make shoppers pay retailers  for their carrier bags.

Six hundred signatures were collected in support of the petition, most of which were obtained at PACT’s Bag Swap in Penrith town centre in October, when reusable cotton bags were given away in exchange for shoppers’ plastic carriers (which were later recycled).

Around 8 billion lightweight single-use plastic carrier bags are issued annually in the UK, working out at 166 bags per adult per year. On average, they are in use for only 12-20 minutes before being discarded. Chris Cant, of PACT’s Resources & Waste Action Group said: ‘discarded plastic carrier bags are not only an unsightly blight on the appearance of towns and the countryside, they pose a real threat to animals which can ingest them and die as a result.’

Wales is to introduce a 5p compulsory charge on single-use carrier bags in October 2011. A compulsory charge on carrier bags introduced in Ireland of 15 euro-cents per bag in 2002 resulted in a reduction in the issuing of single use carrier bags of 90% .‘The onus is largely on shoppers to remember to take their own bags with them’ continued Chris Cant. ‘It was common practice just 30 years ago in this country. If we managed it then, I’m sure we can learn to do it again.’

Anybody wanting further information on the ‘Plastic-Bag-Free Penrith’ campaign should Email:

[email protected] or go to the PACT website:

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