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."