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Lush says shoppers support 5p charge for carrier bags

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

BACKING: Sarah Dunn, Millie Olive and Kirsty Szerjder from Lush present their survey to Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood

BACKING: Sarah Dunn, Millie Olive and Kirsty Szerjder from Lush present their survey to Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood

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THE vast majority of shoppers in Cheltenham would support the introduction of a 5p charge on all single use carrier bags, according to the findings of one of the town's retailers.

Lush Cosmetics have conducted a survey throughout the last week, asking people what they thought of the idea.

The High Street shop polled around 600 people and found the majority would sign up for the charge.

They presented their findings to Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood.

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Millie Olive, a supervisor at Lush, said: "We had asked our customers what they thought about bringing in a 5p charge on all plastic carrier bags.

"We found that people were willing to pay the charge and that the plastic bag habit resulted in too much waste.

"It is about trying to find a better way. If people had to pay 5p for every bag they would probably be more likely to use them again."

A national survey carried out by polling experts ICM for the Break the Bag Habit campaign found 75 per cent of people across the country would think twice about taking bags if a charge was applied.

Councillor Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability at Cheltenham Borough Council, welcomed the idea.

He said: "The council has no powers to enforce retailers to charge a fee for plastic bags.

"I do, however, think that it's great that some retailers such as Lush are taking this on. B&Q for example charged me 5p for a carrier bag at the weekend and I am in support of the message they're sending out."

There is currently no plan to introduce the charge universally in England despite its success in Wales where single use carrier bag usage fell by 95 per cent after the levy was implemented.

Sallie Agombar, co-ordinator of the Cheltenham Friends of the Earth, said: "Ultimately plastic bags are a waste of plastic and end up going to landfill or in to waterways."

OPINION, P8

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  • Nogman  |  October 14 2012, 3:26PM

    If it's about cleaning up the countryside, then there should certainly be a charge for take-away drink cans and bottles, since there are plenty of them left lying around. Indeed, I'd go as far as suggesting a ban on the sale of alcohol in glass bottles from supermarkets and off-licences. And if it was about cleaning up the countryside, what happens to the 'single use' plastic carrier bags once they have been used? I'd suggest they go straight to landfill, whether they've been paid for or not. Many recycled plastic carrier bags stink of burnt plastic, which makes them less likely to be kept for reuse.

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  • Douglasknows  |  October 14 2012, 12:43PM

    5p is a small charge for cleaning up the countryside. I think the whole amount should go to the shop that charges for them as they have bought the bags in the first place. I'm not interested in how much profit they make from them, they are in business to make money afterall. They provide a service and if people don't like it then they can shop elsewhere..................or bring their own bags of course!

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  • AndyPrestbury  |  October 13 2012, 11:03PM

    Would be interesting to know how they carried out this survey, which supports their policy, and gets them free publicity and a cheesy photo. As the survey on here has the yes camp at just 53%. Or for a LibDem politician is that his definition of vast majority?

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  • Nogman  |  October 12 2012, 9:12PM

    Note the phrase "single use carrier bags". That doesn't simply mean you get penalised for forgetting to take the old bag shopping with you - it means having to buy a new one every time. But this article is about plastic carrier bags. Those Lush bags don't look like plastic - they look like paper, which is fine as long as you're not caught in a storm and the whole thing disintegrates before you've got home.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  October 12 2012, 8:28PM

    Knarf - good idea if the money goes for good causes as the bags are dirt cheap and the shops will make 1000% or more profit at 5p/piece, but how do you bell the cat?

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  • johnstevens3  |  October 12 2012, 8:23PM

    Every time I walk past the place it stinks, and what happens to the 5p, hope it's sent to an animal charity and not in the company's pocket.

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  • Knarf  |  October 12 2012, 6:55PM

    I agree to the charge of 5p for a plastic bag as long as the money earned goes to charity instead of boosting the shops profit.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  October 11 2012, 3:08PM

    Lib-Dem propaganda photo.

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  • gevecke  |  October 11 2012, 2:52PM

    Hustler2011. I agree with your comments but was referring to the propaganda on the bags of course. I generally shop at Aldi or Lidl which, being German family owned, have never given bags for free. Kind regards

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  • InspectorGade  |  October 11 2012, 12:50PM

    I wonder what the increase in the sale of small bin liners in Wales was after the 5p tax?

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