Rugby MP opposes campaign to put charge on plastic bags

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CHARGING customers for plastic bags would not work, according to town MP Mark Pawsey.

Mr Pawsey has voiced his opposition to a recent ‘Break the Bag Habit’ campaign, led by groups such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which calls on the Government to introduce a levy on all single-use bags.

As chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Packaging, and the owner of a packaging company in Rugby for 25 years before becoming an MP, Mr Pawsey believes a levy on plastic bags would not work.

Speaking about the campaign, he said: “The state of the environment is important to all of us, but we cannot continue to lay blame on plastic bags. “I am unable to support this campaign because I believe that evidence suggests plastic bags do not have nearly as big an impact on the environment as those that oppose them claim they have. The alternatives, such as a cotton bag, has to be used 173 times before its enormous environmental impact equals the humble plastic bag. In addition given that plastic carrier bags are also re-used by around 80% of households, it is my belief that trying to rid this country of plastic bags is not the only way to help our environment.

“Put into perspective, the total annual UK consumption of 6.5 billion carrier bags has the same environmental impact of just one average 8 mile journey for every car in the UK. Because of this, I don’t think that there is any scientific justification for the ‘Break the Habit Campaign.”