Friday, April 17, 2009

Shoppers in the UK each get through a shocking 13,000 carrier bags in their lifetimes, new research shows today as the Government launches a new campaign on reusing bags.

A survey of shoppers found that on average we use more than 160 new carrier bags each every single year, at least 400 a year for the average household. In 2008 alone, 9.9 billion carrier bags were distributed -- enough to fill 188 Olympic swimming pools, and if laid end to end they would reach to the moon and back seven times.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said:

“We simply can’t continue using the billions of new carrier bags we do every year, it’s such a huge waste and a visible symbol of our throwaway society.

“Retailers and the public have already made great steps in the right direction, and I think if we really can ‘get a bag habit’ and remember to reuse our bags, it puts us on the right track to doing even more to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfill.”

The “Get a bag habit” campaign launched today with the British Retail Consortium aims to encourage the reuse of carrier bags and follows a commitment by seven leading supermarkets to reach a 50 per cent cut in the number of bags given out by the end of May this year. Since 2006 retailers have reduced the amount of bags they give out by 26 per cent.

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