Plastic waste is a global problem, and people have realized the need to end this evil. In the fast-paced lifestyle of today, single-use plastic items have become indispensable. People travel a lot and depend on packed foodstuff and drinks in throwaway-type containers. These are discarded when done with and are convenient for them, but they pollute the environment. When they end up in the oceans, they play havoc with marine lives. In recent times, carry bags made of plastic have become popular all over the World.

England plans to check their use.

The Independent UK reports that it has already levied a nominal charge for these bags. Introduced in 2015, it had positive results. It led to a drop of nearly 95 percent in major supermarkets. England now wants retailers to double that charge for plastic carry bags and expects to reduce demand by 70-80 percent in small and medium-sized businesses. This change would be with immediate effect. The government feels an action of this nature would boost the UK economy over the next decade. Before this levy, the annual consumption of these bags was 140. It has now come down to just four.

Funds collected against plastic carry bags benefit the society

It seems the money collected against plastic carry bags added up to funds that went towards good causes like charity, the environment, and health sectors.

There were other causes also based on the choice of customers or staff. The Independent UK quotes the environment minister Rebecca Pow saying: “Everyone wants to play their part in reducing the scourge of plastic waste that blights our environment and oceans.” She mentioned the success of the initial charge and added that it could go further.

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The intention is to save the environment and bring back a greener world. New York City banned plastic bags in March 2020, and environmentalists hailed the move. It is high time the world changed as a whole and went back to the days of cloth and paper bags.

Online shopping does not need plastic carry bags.

There is a mixed reaction to this extra charge for using plastic carry bags.

England has already imposed bans on a wide range of single-use plastic products. These include straws, stirrers, cotton buds apart from microbeads in personal care products. There could be a new deposit-return scheme for plastic bottles that contain drinks. An official attached with Waste & Resources Action Program WRAP says: “The introduction of a charge has had a significant influence in reducing the number of bags purchased at stores.” She is Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at WRAP. She feels this nominal charge has cut down the need for these bags, and the trend would continue. However, in the opinion of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the consumers will have to shell out more. It will be in the form of hidden costs.

There is a suggestion that online shopping could help reduce dependency on carry bags.

Levy on plastic bags introduced in 2015 paid dividends

According to Sky News, the government levied a charge on plastic bags in 2015. It applied to larger companies with 250 employees or more. It led to a drastic drop in the number of single-use bags distributed by supermarkets. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA confirms this. England now wants to double the charge and extend it to all businesses. Some campaign groups want more tough measures. One such group is Friends of the Earth. They want the government to lay out legally binding targets to phase out all unnecessary single-use plastic products.

That could be a part of the upcoming Environment Bill. This group's official believes the ministers need to take a tougher stand against all single-use plastics and support re-use and refill. In April 2019, a news report cautioned that as the global population explodes, so will plastic waste in the oceans.