• Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Cooperative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 4900 million fewer plastic bags this year
  • In 2015, a five pence price was set for these bags, the fee earned Rs 1464 crore for the charity.

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Oct 01, 2019, 11:21 AM IST

London. Consumption of plastic bags has decreased by 90 per cent at seven major retail stores in England. If you look at the figures of all the retailers in the country, consumption of single-use plastic bags has decreased by 37% in 2018-19 compared to the previous year. The reduction was due to the five pence price for these bags in 2015 at these seven stores. About 1464 crore rupees ($ 207 million) has also been received from this fee for charity.

In the last one year alone, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Cooperative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 4,500 crore less plastic bags than the previous year. The bags sold were received from the charity for Rs 19 crore this year.

Welcome new figures

In 2014, the consumption of plastic bags per capita per year in these major super markets was 140, which has now come down to just 10. Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has welcomed the new figures. He said that our efforts to reduce plastic waste are continuously paying off. A 90 per cent reduction in consumption of plastic bags by charging just five cents is encouraging.

Villiers said that no one wants to see the damage caused by plastic to our environment and wildlife. These figures prove that we are collectively taking steps to avoid this. Apart from this, the UK government has also taken several steps to reduce plastic waste.

In January last year, the government banned plastic microbeads used in cosmetic and toothpaste. Apart from this, the ban on many things including plastic straws and cotton buds has been confirmed recently. This ban will come into full effect from April next year.

The UK has prepared a tax on such plastic packaging from April 2022, in which no less than 30 per cent recyclable material will be used. The matter is under debate, but the government says it is necessary to do so to promote recycled goods.

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