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Free bags to be banned

Free plastic bags for your shopping could soon be a thing of the past, as shops pledge to no longer carry on giving free carriers, given that they only end up in landfill sites.

From October plastic bags in Wales will cost a minimum of 5p. The EU wants similar laws to be introduced Europe-wide to reduce the need for burying or recycling the bags. A number of countries, such as Ireland and Italy, already have such laws, and outside the EU the bags are already banned by China and Bangladesh.

Welsh Environment Minister Jane Davidson said: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that such a reduction is needed. In Wales during 2009 we took home on average 273 carrier bags per household from the major supermarkets alone.

‘Add to this the number of bags we pick up when shopping on the high street or at smaller stores and you are left with an even higher figure. While I know reducing our use of single use carrier bags is not going to solve all our environmental problems the charge delivers an important message about the need for us to live much more sustainable lives.’

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