World’s toughest law against plastic bags?

  A plastic bag ban, believed to be the toughest in the world, has come into force in Kenya. Those manufacturing, selling or even using them could face fines of up to $38,000 (£29,339) or be imprisoned for up to four years. Enforcement will however initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers. While the government […]

Kenya bans all plastic shopping bags

Kenya has banned the use, manufacture and import of all plastic shopping bags. The rule, which will come into force in six months, is already in place in a number of other African nations, including Rwanda and Morocco. Approximately 100 million plastic bags are handed out each year by Kenyan supermarkets alone. Plastic waste has […]

UN launches campaign to stop oceans of plastic

The UN has launched a global campaign to eliminate marine litter. Dubbed #CleanSeas, it aims to get rid of micro plastics in cosmetics and the excessive usage of single-use plastic bags by 2022. It is urging governments to implement plastic reduction policies, targeting industry to minimise plastic packaging and redesign products. UN Environment is also […]

UK plastic bag use up for fifth year

The number of plastic bags used in the UK has risen for the fifth year running. New figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revealed shoppers took 8.5 billion single-use carrier bags from major supermarkets last year – up 200 million from 2013. It also found the average household has 40 […]

£1m in the bag for charity

Scottish retailers have raised more than £1 million for charity since the ‘single-use bag charge’. The country’s Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said four retailers made the donation as a result of the charge, which came into effect six months ago. The figure was revealed after reports that usage of plastic bags fell by more than 80% since […]

Plastic bag charge bumped up in Northern Ireland

Shoppers in Northern Ireland will soon have to pay 20p per plastic bag as ministers try to clamp down on waste. There was already a 5p levy on single use carrier bags which cost less than 20p. This is going up to 20p from 19 January 2015. Today Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan […]

EU votes to curb plastic bag use

EU governments have unanimously agreed to slash the use of plastic grocery bags. The Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and the European Commission agreed on a new policy that would offer countries three options for cutting bag use. They include either introducing mandatory pricing by 2018 or banning plastic carrier bags altogether or adopting […]

5p plastic bag charge ‘messed up by ministers’

Ministers risk “messing up” plans for a 5p charge on plastic bags by making it too complicated. Last September the Deputy Prime Minister announced the mandatory charge for single-use plastic carrier bags in England from Autumn 2015. But MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee fear plans to exempts biodegradable bags and corner shops from the […]

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 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 […]

UK’s first recycling facility for shopping bags

Supermarket shoppers probably have dozens of used plastic bags stuffed in a drawer at home – but that could soon be a thing of the past. A new facility dedicated to recycling consumer shopping plastic bags – a first in the UK – has been opened in south east London. The £10.7 million plant recycles […]