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Source: istock

Single-Use Grocery Bags Are Becoming Obsolete in the U.K.


Charges on supermarket plastic bags: Embraced by environmentalists, scoffed at by people who like to double-bag everything they buy, and apparently, very effective. In 2015, England introduced a nationwide 5-pence fee (about 6 cents in USD) on plastic bags. And over the the past year, sales of said bags has gone down by a whopping 90 percent at the country's seven major supermarket chains. In fact, the average consumer at those chains is now only taking 10 plastic grocery bags per year.

The U.K. Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) shared the data on the government website on Wednesday, July 31. From April 2017 to April 2018, 249 retailers reported sales of 1.75 billion bags; and from April 2018 to April 2019, 221 retailers reported 1.11 billion bags — that's a total decrease of 37 percent.