The plastic bag levy has had a “huge positive impact” on a wide range of charities, new analysis has claimed.
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has revealed that it has helped distribute £10m which retailers including Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's have helped raise since the 5p levy was introduced in England last October.
Klara Kozlov, head of the CAF's corporate clients' team, which works with 3,000 companies across the UK, said: “Not only has the introduction of the plastic bag levy benefitted the environment, but it has had a huge positive impact for charities.
“Millions of pounds has been raised for good causes which has helped to fund vital work which otherwise may not have been possible.”
CAF client Aldi reported that approximately £1.1m has been raised by the sale of carrier bags in its UK stores.
While between October 2015 and April 2016, Marks & Spencer used 45.7 million single-use carrier bags in their UK outlets. The net proceeds were £1.9m with the money raised going to a number of charities via the CAF with whom the retailer has worked for many years, including Breast Cancer Now, UNICEF and WWF.
Sainsbury's took a different approach from other retailers by removing all single-use carrier bags from its stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
It now charges 5p for stronger, re-useable bags which are made from 100% recyclable material. If they wear out the retailer replaces them free of charge. Despite not being subject to the levy, profit from sale of the bags is donated by individual stores to local charities via the CAF, with more than 1,000 good causes being supported overall.