The Liberal Democrat's call for a carried bag tax has been attacked by the UK's plastic industry.
“It is seriously disappointing that certain politicians continue to target carrier bags at a time when a far more holistic action plan is required to reduce the really significant resource impacts across every aspect of our lives,” said Packaging and Films Association (Pafa) chief executive, Barry Turner.
“As long as consumers shop on the high street they will require shopping bags to get goods safely into their homes. We now have the benefit of numerous Government studies and expert reports which show that lightweight bags with high levels of recycled plastic content have the least impact on the environment and around 80% of consumers reuse them at least once.”
The plastics industry has led the way in “responsible and sustainable actions” to reduce the impacts of its own products, added Turner. “What is constantly overlooked is the success of voluntary measures in the UK – supported by all major retailers – which have halved the resource impacts of carrier bags. We now use less virgin material, far more recycled plastic and have brought about a significant increase in front of store recycling bins for bags.
“If other industries had implemented anything like the resource reduction we have achieved in the bag industry over the last four years, this country would be able to say we are making real progress on sustainability and resource management” said Turner.