The charge is part of Wales' efforts to dramatically reduce the number of carrier bags provided to shoppers. According to Environment Minister Jane Davidson, each household used an average of 273 carrier bags just from grocery shopping.
She further stated, “Most of these bags are completely unnecessary. They end up cluttering up our cupboards, littering our countryside or sitting in a landfill for thousands of years.
“Whilst I know that 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.”
The Welsh Assembly Government thinks that the 5p charge is high enough to encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags but not high enough to deter impulse buying or place a significant burden on shoppers who have forgotten their reusable bags.
Minister Davidson further stated, “The idea of the charge is not to make people pay for carrier bags. Rather it is to encourage shoppers to make use of the bags they already have. No one has to pay the charge; it can be simply avoided if we remember to carry reusable bags when we do our shopping.”
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Source: Welsh Assembly Government