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Plastic Bags

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL16462, tabled on 18 June 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the number of plastic bags which would be supplied daily to customers by retail outlets in England if a 10p single-use plastic bag charge was introduced on all retail outlets not currently covered; and whether any such number represents a decline in the number of such bags supplied.

Answered on

1 July 2019

The single use carrier bag (SUCB) policy has successfully contributed to a more than 80% reduction in the usage of SUCBs by large retailers. The policy excludes retailers with fewer than 250 employees from the charge.

The Government estimates that 3.6 billion SUCBs were supplied by micro and small businesses (MSMEs) not covered by the charge in 2017 alone.

We estimate that the policy to increase the charge to 10p would cause a decline in consumption of SUCBs in MSMEs (assumed to be 23% in the first year of change and 80% within three years (2020-2022)).