Small local moves here and there add up, on occasion, to major change. We are amazed to learn of the scale of the success in the Celtic region with the program to ensure consumers and vendors share in the cost of the environmental mess that plastic bags create. Thanks to the Guardian for this coverage:
Scottish shops start charging for bags
Charge of at least 5p a carrier bag introduced in bid to emulate 70% fall in usage in Wales and Northern Ireland
Scotland is joining Wales and Northern Ireland in charging shoppers for carrier bags , in an attempt to encourage sustainable behaviour among shoppers. Last year, shoppers at Scotland’s main supermarket chains alone used 800m single-use bags, most of which end up as litter, landfill or polluting the country’s marine and natural environments.
The minimum 5p charge applies to all bags, whether plastic, paper or biodegradable, and covers all retailers. Evidence from Wales and Northern Ireland suggests that usage is likely to be cut by about 70%.
The Scottish environment secretary, Richard Lochhead, said: “Our carrier bag addiction is symptomatic of our throwaway culture and has serious implications for the environment.
“Huge numbers of these bags end up as litter, blighting our communities and clogging up our seas and natural habitats, affecting many sorts of wildlife and marine species in particular.”
Although proceeds from the charge belong to the retailer, Zero Waste Scotland, which is piloting the scheme, is encouraging shops to sign up to a voluntary agreement to donate the extra money to good causes in Scotland, particularly ones that benefit the environment.
Superdry, Marks & Spencer, the Co-operative Group and several other retailers have pledged to do so, with Tesco holding a public vote which decided to donate to the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign…
Read the whole story here.