Reducing carrier bags

Bag for life

The introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge in October 2015 has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the use of single-use carrier bags.

What's the problem with plastic bags?

When bags are only used once and then thrown away − this wastes resources. They're often made from plastic which is derived from oil, a non-renewable resource.

They're also a very visible source of litter in our countryside and can harm wildlife. Most bags find their way into landfill or − much more damaging − into waterways and the sea, where they're a hazard to marine life.

What can we do about it?

We can all cut back on the number of bags that we use. This will make a contribution to saving resources and reducing waste.

  • Think bag - reduce the amount of carrier bags that are used by reusing them as many times as possible.
  • Always put the worn out plastic bags in supermarket recycling points, as they are collected specifically for specialist recycling.
  • If you're shopping online and receive a supermarket delivery, give the bags back to the driver who will return them to the supermarket.
  • Use suitable reusable bags and make sure that they're 'fit for purpose' - they should be strong, durable and ideally be made from recycled material.
  • Also, keep a small foldaway bag with you for those unexpected purchases.