PM wants to end plastic bagsBrown announces move in green speech

20 November 2007

Supermarket carrier bags

The Prime Minister wants to ban single-use plastic carrier bags.

In his first speech on the environment since taking office, Gordon Brown said that he would seek the end of the one-use plastic bag in supermarkets and shops.

The government would convene a forum of supermarkets, the British Retail Consortium and others to look at how to reduce plastic bags to cut landfill waste.

Green homes

He said: 'I am convinced that we can eliminate single-use disposable bags altogether, in favour of long-lasting and more sustainable alternatives,' he said.

Mr Brown also announced the Green Homes Service - a telephone line, website and network of advice centres.

The initiative, which will begin next April - will be a one-stop shop for energy-saving tips and advice on saving water and reducing waste.

Energy efficiency

Mr Brown said that, in 50 of Britain's poorest areas, homes would be offered energy efficiency deals, and there would be financial help for anyone selling or buying an inefficient property.

He also said that all new houses would have to be zero-carbon by 2016 and that the government would also give 5 million more homes discounted or free loft or cavity wall insulation.

The Prime Minister added that his government's Climate Change Bill would place a statutory cap on Britain's emissions by at least 60 per cent, and possibly as high as 80 per cent by 2050, and between 26 per cent and 32 per cent by 2020.

Revolution

He added: 'I believe it will require no less than a fourth technological revolution. In the past the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, the microprocessor transformed not just technology but the way our society has been organised and the way people live.

'Now we're about to embark on a comparable technological transformation to low-carbon energy and energy efficiency and this represents an immense challenge to Britain, but it is also an opportunity.'