Rugby MP calls on Government to simplify proposed carrier bag charge

Mark Pawsey MP
Mark Pawsey MP

Rugby’s MP is calling on the Government to simplify the proposed charge that will be put on carrier bags.

Mark Pawsey MP, chairman of the all party parliamentary group on packaging, wants the Government to remove some exemptions from the proposed ‘plastic bags tax’.

Mr Pawsey, who raised the issue in the House of Commons recently, said many of the exemptions were unnecessary and could undermine both the policy and the UK plastics recycling market.

He said: “It seems that the Government is now set on bringing in a charge on single-use carrier bags, but they need to get the policy right.

“At the moment, they are seeking to exempt certain types of biodegradable plastic bags, even though the recycling industry is clear that this could contaminate the waste stream and completely undermine any attempts to recycle plastic bags.”

Mr Pawsey said there needs to be a clear policy which is simple for consumers and for the recycling and plastic bag industries.

He said: “If the Government is going to go ahead on this, it needs to look at the facts and listen to the views of industry. As I said in the House of Commons recently, there are concerns from small businesses and the plastics recycling sector, and the Government must take these fully into account.

“There need to be some exemptions for small businesses, so that this doesn’t become a tax on growth, but the exemptions on biodegradable plastic bags would be counter-productive, and against the green agenda of this policy.

“Done right, this policy will protect small businesses and the environment, but at this point the policy needs improvement.”