Demand for NT plastic bags falls 95%National Trust introduced 5p charge 100 days ago

13 August 2008

A person holding a carrier bag

Plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade

Demand for plastic bags at National Trust shops has fallen 95% in the 100 days since a 5p charge on them was introduced, the Trust said today.

The heritage and conservation organisation said the drop in demand at its 220 shops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had saved more than 325,000 carrier bags from landfill.

Before the charge was introduced in May, National Trust shops gave away 1.25 million plastic bags, which green groups say damage the environment, each year.

Jute bags

The Trust said it had seen a jump in sales of its jute bags, with 164,000 sold in the last four months, while many customers were reusing bags.

Stuart Richards, head of commercial operations at the National Trust, said: 'Such a dramatic drop in demand for plastic bags will help the National Trust cut its waste and reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfill sites.

'We're working closely with our suppliers to cut the amount of packaging, waste and energy used in the products that we sell in our shops.'

The 5p charge at Trust shops came after similar moves by supermarkets and high street stores, a newspaper campaign and a Government pledge to introduce legislation if retailers did not cut the 13 billion single-use bags given out to UK shoppers each year.

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