EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND (Aug. 17, 1:15 p.m. ET) — Scotland's environment secretary, Richard Lochhead, has launched a consultation on a possible ban on free plastic carrier bags. The change of heart follows concerns that voluntary measures to cut bag use are failing to cut demand at a sufficient rate.
“Plastic bags are a scourge on the environment and a blight on our streets, our countryside and our seas - that's why we are so determined to drastically cut back on their use,” Lochhead said. “It's hugely encouraging that so many people are now taking this issue seriously, and over the past five years we have seen a lot of progress in cutting plastic bag use, both by shops and shoppers.
“We want to phase out the use of free plastic bags in supermarkets, with the continued help of retailers.”
Back in 2006, the Scottish Parliament's environment committee unanimously voted against a 10 pence levy on plastic supermarket carrier bags.