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article imageTesco sees plastic bag usage down by 80% since 5P charge

By Owen Weldon     Dec 6, 2015 in Business
Data suggests that the number of plastic bags taken home by people at Tesco stores in England has dropped by almost 80 percent ever since the company introduced a 5P levy.
Back in October, the government introduced the charge to help reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Tesco hasn't said how many 5P (about 10 cents) bags have been sold, but the company did say it was down 78 percent on the month before the charge. Also, the proceeds Tesco has received from the sales of plastic bags will be given to charity.
The reduction is greater than what Tesco expected. The company estimates it has handed out more than 2 billion single-use carrier bags in 2014, or around 200 million bags per month.
The plastic bag charge was only introduced in England a few months ago, but it has been in effect in other areas of the UK for quite sometime, and it has been a success.
Supermarket chain ASDA has seen a reduction of more than 90 percent in single-use carriers in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The company has also spent more than £1 million, which was raised by the charge, on charitable causes.
Rory Stewart, the Environment Minister, said he was delighted that the charge for plastic bags has had a real impact and is raising a lot of money for good causes.
Stewart said cutting the number of plastic bags people use is a small step, but an important step in reducing plastic waste. He said it will help cleanup towns and the countryside, as well as protect the beaches and sea life.
More about Tesco, Plastic bag, Charge, plastic bag usage
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