Welsh shoppers set to pay for plastic bags'Bag tax' proposed to reduce waste

13 February 2009

shopping at the supermarket

Plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down

Welsh shoppers may have to pay for their plastic bags as part of a proposal to cut waste.

Environment minister Jane Davidson said current voluntary agreements don't go far enough and she will be consulting about the new charge in the summer.

There is currently no set time frame for introducing the fee nor how much it would be. However, a cross-party report found that charging shoppers 20p a bag would raise £13m a year for environmental causes.

Plastic bag numbers

Currently there are voluntary agreements with shops that aim to cut the number of plastic bags by half, by May.

However, this would still mean 250 million plastic bags were handed out a year.

In Ireland a levy on plastic bags reduced their use by 90%

Mixed responses

A spokesman for the British Retail Consortium said moving towards a fee was 'premature' before the 50% cut had been met.

He added: 'It's not very helpful at a time when retailers are trying to do all they can to minimise costs to hard pressed customers.'

Which? RSS feed

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds