Last Updated: 06 August 2019
Created: 06 August 2019
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed news that the number of plastic bags used in the UK has halved in a year.
Figures showed that 549 million single-use plastic bags were sold by supermarkets in 2018/19 – down from one billion the year before.
In 2015 the Government introduced a 5p charge for plastic bags to tackle plastic pollution, and since then the number of plastics bags brought in the UK has fallen by 90%.
The Government has continued to build on its work to tackle plastic pollution, and earlier this year it announced a ban on plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers and plastic handled cotton buds.
The Government is also consulting on plans to introduce a deposit return scheme to drive-up the recycling of drinks bottles and cans, as well as plans to levy a tax on plastic packaging which does not contain a minimum of 30% recycled content from April 2022.
The UK Government has committed £61.4 million for global research into the issue and to help countries across the Commonwealth stop plastic waste from entering the oceans. Building on this, the Government’s £20 million Plastics Research and Innovation Fund encourages researchers and businesses to develop new innovations that can bring changes in the UK’s plastics manufacturing and consumption patterns.
Justin Tomlinson said: “Plastic pollution is a very serious issue, and bold action is required to address it. I am delighted that the Government’s 5p charge for plastic bags, along with increased awareness thanks to programs like Blue Planet, has resulted in such a positive change. I am very proud of the work the Government has done to tackle plastic pollution, and the measures it is looking to build on this.”