MPs open inquiry into 5p plastic bag charge

MPs will look at how best to cut the use of plastic shopping bags in a new inquiry launched by the Environmental Audit Committee. Their main focus will be the […]

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MPs will look at how best to cut the use of plastic shopping bags in a new inquiry launched by the Environmental Audit Committee.

Their main focus will be the impact of the proposed 5p charge on plastic bags due to start in England in 2015.

The MPs will examine its potential effect on the number of bags thrown away and what benefits it could bring such as a reduced use of plastic film and oil and the wider uptake of recycling, biodegradable bags and ‘bags for life’.

The planned charge will only apply to employers with more than 250 workers and the inquiry will look at whether that should be the case. MPs will also look at the pros and cons of a charge as opposed to an outright ban on plastic bags, as well as the lessons that can be learnt from other countries’ experiences.

Wales apparently saw the use of carrier bags drop 96% when it brought in a 5p charge while Scotland introduced a charge in July.

The Committee wants interested parties to submit written evidence by 9 December and will take evidence at a hearing on 18 December.