Shark with open mouth approaching plastic bag in ocean

From 21 May all businesses in England are legally required to charge 10p for single use plastic bags handed out to shoppers.

Since the original 5p charge was introduced in 2015, sales of plastic bags in the main supermarkets have dropped by 95%.

Increasing the charge and extending its scope is expected to see a fall of 70-80% in the number of bags sold by small and medium-sized businesses said the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in a press release.

Commenting on the news, Henry Swithinbank of Surfers Against Sewage said:

“The plastic bag charge is a great example of how action from the government can drive business and consumer change and ultimately help clean up the ocean.”