England - Stop Procrastinating on Plastic Bags Charge

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, United Kingdom

Disposable plastic bags are bad news for the environment. Aside from the resources consumed in their production, countless marine animals choke to death on them, and all for something nobody needs and nobody even particularly wants.

You’d think that a small charge on plastic carrier bags was a pretty painless way to help the environment. The sums involved are minimal, lots of people in the UK now use reusable bags anyway and the environmental damage they cause is pretty shocking.

Most countries in the UK agree. Scotland has put the matter to public consultation while Wales and Northern Ireland already have plastic bag charges.

England, on the other hand, is dithering, with the government making one excuse after another not to introduce a plastic bag charge yet. Meanwhile, the environmental problems continue.

Tell the government to stop faffing around on a painless way to make the country greener.

We the undersigned ask that you stop procrastinating on the introduction of a small charge for plastic shopping bags. This is a simple way to cut England’s environmental footprint and one which would cause no major inconvenience for anybody. Plenty of people, and not just the well-off, reuse their bags already. Wales and Northern Ireland already have a charge for them, and oddly enough no rioting in the streets has occurred in response.

Paying a few pence for a shopping bag is not going to cause anybody hardship, but it should spur people to remember to take their reusable bags out with them. A reduction in the consumption of disposable bags would help the environment, given that plastic bags require a large amount of natural resources to produce, do not biodegrade and can add to the every growing problem of plastic pollution in the oceans.

With this in mind, we ask that you keep the ball rolling in the right direction and stop making excuses. Please follow the example of Wales and Northern Ireland by introducing a small levy on this unnecessary yet environmentally expensive item.

Thank you for your attention.

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