Plastic bag sales in England halved in past year

Plastic bags sales by the biggest supermarkets in England have halved in the last year, government data shows.

6 big supermakets sold 549 million single-use plastic bags in 2018-19, down from one billion in the previous year. Since 2015, when a 5p charge was introduced to tackle plastic pollution, the number being used is down by 90%.

Across the world, more than 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced annually – around eight million of which enters the oceans. The plastic breaks down in to smaller pieces which can then be mistaken, by birds and fish for food, clogging their digestive tracks. 

To raise awareness, in December 2018 the government launched a consultation on raising the minimum charge to 10p.