The Lib Dems are celebrating after their campaign to charge for plastic bags has proven to be a resounding success. Plastic bag use has plummeted in England since the introduction of a 5p charge last year, a policy first proposed under the coalition government.
The national campaign, headed by Baroness Kate Parminter, was tirelessly fought over the course of the coalition government and today's figures are a testament to her. The policy was first announced at the 2013 Lib Dem conference and the huge impact is now being seen, with only 640 million bags being used in the seven major supermarkets; a near 7 billion reduction from last year.
Tom Brake, determined to see the ban extended to all single use bags, said: “This policy shows how a simple change to law can have a huge impact on our daily life. No longer will we see our towns and countryside blighted by a constant flow of plastic bags. Had the Lib Dems been in Government, we would have pushed for the removal of the exemption for businesses with less than 250 employees, as well as introducing the charge of paper and biodegradable bags, which would show the world how serious we are about climate change. The UK has a fantastic opportunity to lead the fight against climate change and we must do everything we can to combat wasteful habits which damage our children's future.”