In today’s Budget speech, the Chancellor Alistair Darling announced plans to impose a charge on single-use carrier bags in 2009 if progress on reducing their distribution is not made on a voluntary basis.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, Darren Johnson AM, Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee said:
“I am pleased the Government has agreed with Assembly recommendations set out in our report, Bags to Basics1, which called for the introduction of a national levy on all free throw-away shopping bags.
“Our investigation found that a charge similar to the one introduced in the Republic of Ireland would be most effective in reducing the number of bags issued and we look forward to examining the finer detail of how the proposed levy would operate here in the UK.
“In the meantime, the Government should urgently revise the current voluntary agreement2 with more robust, sector specific and tightly defined targets set for all retailers as recommended in our report.”
Notes to Editors
The report Bag to Basics: Why and how free shopping bags should be removed from London’s shops (December 2007) is available at: http://legacy.london.gov.uk/assembly/reports/environment.jsp
This was a voluntary agreement between retailers, Government and Waste & Resources Action Programmes (WRAP) to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bag usage by 25 per cent by the end of 2008.
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