Welsh ponder bag levy

Welsh shoppers could soon find themselves forking out 20p to take their meat home in a bag.

The Welsh Assembly's Sustainability Committee is set to publish a report calling for a 10p to 20p levy on all disposable plastic bags. It said the money raised, between £6.48m and £12.96m, could be used to fund environmental projects.

However, the British Retail Consortium has opposed the suggestions. A spokesman said: "It will just be a case of another unnecessary charge being passed on to already hard-pressed customers."

Committee chair Mick Bates AM said: "The committee believes that a levy is the best and most practical form of intervention that the Welsh Assembly Government could make and that profits raised from such a levy should be used for environmental benefits.

"Consumers in Wales will soon see that a small change in their purchasing and disposal behaviours can quickly affect a large change on the environment."

The committee had considered an outright ban on bags, but decided against it as it would be impossible to police.

If the Welsh Assembly decides to introduce a standard charge for bags, Welsh ministers will have the powers to impose it under a new clause in the Climate Change Bill, which is expected to pass through Parliament in November.

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