Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has welcomed new figures which show plastic bag sales in England’s seven largest supermarkets have dropped by 86% since the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge, helping to reduce waste and protect our environment. The charge, which was introduced in 2015, has taken over 9 billion plastic bags out of circulation, has led to the biggest supermarkets buying nearly 300million fewer bags this year compared to last year and has delivered £60million for good causes.

    Mr Stride said:

    “The number of plastic bags used by the average person every year has dropped from 140 to 19 since the introduction of this charge. It has been as much about educating ourselves on the damage caused by single-use plastics as it has been about the financial impact of the charge. Every time we go shopping instead of picking up a bag without thinking, the charge reminds us that this is something we shouldn’t be doing. And the figures show this is having a hugely positive impact.”

    Referring to a more recent environmental issue that Mr Stride has fought hard to address in Westminster - the introduction of a drinks container deposit scheme covering glass, plastic and metal - Mr Stride added:

    “I am optimistic that the drinks deposit return scheme, currently being consulted on by DEFRA, will have a similarly positive impact in tackling single use plastics. When I lobbied the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Gove, on this issue during a visit to Central Devon last year, we spoke about the impact that plastic has not only in our oceans but to wildlife in rural counties like Devon.”