Plastic bag charge sees supermarket usage drop by 97 per cent

New figures have been released by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), revealing that single-use carrier bag usage has dropped 97 per cent across the UK’s major retailers due to its plastic bag charge.

In 2015, the 5p charge for single-use plastic bags was introduced in supermarkets – this was increased to 10p and extended to all businesses last year.

The 10p charge has decreased the usage of plastic bags by 20 per cent from 627 million in 2019/20 to 496 million in 2021/22, Defra says.

In comparison to 2014’s figure, of 140 per person, statistics from the department infer that the charge has led to the average person buying around three single-use carrier bags a year from major retailers.