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Plastic Bags

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to enable local authorities to require local retailers to reduce significantly their use of single-use carrier bags; and whether he plans to enable local authorities to prohibit the use of single-use carrier bags in (a) their areas and (b) specific circumstances. (248338)

The Government have no such plans. It would be illegal under EU law to prohibit the use of bags, and the Government have no plans to do so or to empower local authorities to do so. A very significant reduction in the number of single-use carriers distributed by supermarkets is in prospect following the agreement reached between the Government and the British Retail Consortium in December, under which leading supermarkets have pledged to reduce bags by 50 per cent. by the spring.