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TiG poll shows wide divide over plastic bag levy proposals

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 07, 2013

Carrier bag levy

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SHOPPERS in Cheltenham are torn over whether the government should introduce a 5p levy for plastic carrier bags.

The results of a poll of more than 2,000 people on Thisisgloucestershire.co.uk shows that the borough is divided over the issue, with 53 per cent backing the levy and 47 per cent against it.

Cheltenham Borough Council previously said it wanted to reduce the number of bags being used in the town, but did not have the power to bring in such a charge.

Campaigners in favour of the levy believe it will cause people to re-use plastic bags and therefore reduce the number thrown away. Carrier bag usage in Wales has dropped dramatically since it brought in the levy in 2011.

Richard Jones, from Hester's Way, thinks the government should start forcing people to pay for plastic bags.

The 23-year-old said: "Charging people for bags is the only way to make them think twice about using a new one every time they go shopping."

But 83-year-old Maureen Molloy, from Leckhampton, said: "I'm not sure charging will make people think to take a bag with them when they shop. They will forget and just have to pay for the bag.

"I think a charge is mean. Some people have not got a lot of money and the cost will add up over the year."

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  • ecofriendlypa  |  January 29 2013, 4:53AM

    Paper Cup Making Machinery Charging levy for plastic carrier bags is not a solution to save environment. Awareness of using paper bags should be given to people properly. http://tinyurl.com/atsfq4r

  • Dave_t10  |  January 14 2013, 12:08AM

    If anyone want's proof that the charging works, pop across into Wales and pick any supermarket. There are hardly any people buying the bags there at 5p each. In fact the transformation has been quite remarkable and just shows what can be done. There the charge has been in place for over a year now - I would love to see some numbers from Tesco etc on the drop in bags given out. If you speak to, almost all people have got used to the charge and carry their reusable bags religiously. @Aletheia Sorry, when you mentioned your "kitchen waste bin", I presumed you meant the food waste bin rather than general non-recyclable trash.

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  • Aletheia  |  January 08 2013, 11:33PM

    Dave_t10 You don't seem to have read my comment properly. I said I used the carriers for my kitchen bin. I was not talking about the food waste recycling thing that the council gave me, I was talking about my own swing topped bin where non recyclables like some plastics end up.

  • Coingrass  |  January 08 2013, 7:25PM

    Anyone who is using supermarket plastic bags in their food recycling bin is actually sabotaging the food recycling effort as these bags are not biodegradable and simply contaminate the food recycling process. As a result, all food waste put into ordinary plastic bags has to go to land-fill instead of being recycled. So please don't use ordinary plastic bags for food recycling; either buy the proper biodegradable bags or use newspaper.

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  • spindles12  |  January 08 2013, 4:39PM

    I don't use paper bags in my small kitchen waste bin, in fact I don't even use the bin. It takes up quite a bit of room in the cupboard under the sink especially when you have to lift the lid to put things in it so I've taken apart a set of three small drawers and use one drawer. It fits under the shelf and is so much easier to pull out a drawer than to have to pull out the bin and lift the lid. I also keep a pile of newspapers on top and use four sheets of paper to wrap the food waste in which helps to get rid of the pile of newspapers and I haven't needed to buy special bags. I totally agree with CBSschmucks (love that name considering what they're talking about!) Disposable nappies must cause an awful lot of pollution, not only in the manufacture but in the disposal but, having said that, recycled paper that is used to make toilet paper is bleached which causes pollution in itself so whatever you do you can't win.

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  • Dave_t10  |  January 08 2013, 12:18AM

    @Aletheia and @geraint2010 Standard plastic bags are no good for you kitchen waste unless you empty these when you transfer the contents to the larger bin. Standard plastic doesn't decompose so they have to bin the entire contents when they spot this in the recycling. The special bags that can be used are starch based so they break down. Despite your best intentions, by doing this you are actually causing more work, costs and waste then just putting the waste in your standard bin in the first place. I cannot understand why the council doesn't provide free waste food bags like many other councils do.

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  • tishwash  |  January 07 2013, 8:13PM

    oh and P.S. many would be more supportive if the money didn't go straight in the shop's profits :)

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  • tishwash  |  January 07 2013, 8:13PM

    Why not just use brown paper bags again ? Or why not provide decent carrier bags, even the checkout people at Tesco recommend double bagging every bag at the moment!

  • darrellglos  |  January 07 2013, 7:46PM

    5p per carrier bag introduced by the Goverment, just wonder if they would increase every Budget Day with the Excuse thats its for enviromental reasons.

  • CBCschmucks  |  January 07 2013, 5:23PM

    It's alright harping on about carrier bags, but when will someone do something about disposable nappies? They cause more damage to the environment in the manufacture and disposal than carrier bags ever did. On average it takes 500+ years for there protectors' of poo to break down not to mention the bio hazard when said poo finally escape from its plastic prison. All the eco friendly, tree hugging mummy's and daddy's out there need to rethink what they're leaving the future sprogs of the world just because they're too lazy to use cotton nappys. Which, when finally worn out will break down in 6 months. Levy a sizable tax on those who refuse to use cotton and maybe our landfills won't be so full with the little darlings packets of disgusting contents.

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