Single use plastic bags sold just 1.1 billion in the 12 months until October 10, according to new data from big data specialist IRI.
Before the plastic bag price levy was introduced just over a year ago supermarkets in England and Wales gave away 8.5 billion a year. The levy has seen a near 90 per cent drop in numbers, easily topping the government’s target of 80 per cent.
Meanwhile revenues from the sales of plastic bags nearly tripled from £50 million to £147 million, raising £97 million for charity. The results also show that since introduction of the levy, sales of bin bags have risen by 8.25 per cent.
“While it still appears that large volumes of plastic bags are being used by shoppers, the government’s target of an 80 per cent reduction in plastic bag production was easily met,”, IRI head of strategic insight for retail Martin Wood said.
“The correlating growth in the bin liner category suggests that some people who previously used free plastic bags for collecting and disposing of their rubbish are now having to buy bin liners instead.
“The total of 1.1 billion single use bags in 2015/16 is just 13.2 per cent of the 8.5 billion figure, so close to a 90 per cent drop, which is astonishing.”