SCOTLAND’S Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced that four retailers have donated more than £1 million to good causes as a result of the single-use carrier bag charge, which came into effect almost six months ago.
Ahead of the six month anniversary on Monday the figure has been revealed following retailer reports that single-use carrier bag usage has been reduced by more than 80 per cent since the charge was introduced on October 20, 2014.
Mr Lochhead made the announcement at an ASDA store in Elgin.
Presently, Asda is indicating a more than 90 per cent reduction in single-use carrier bag use, while raising £350,000 for two social enterprise charities – Social Investment Scotland and Foundation Scotland.
The Co-operative Food has used the 5p charge to raise £375,000 for community projects across Scotland, reporting a usage reduction of 80 per cent.
Responding to the success of the carrier bag charge Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland said:
“It’s great to hear carrier bag usage in Scotland has dropped so significantly since the 5p charge was introduced. As well as removing thousands of bags from circulation, it’s also fantastic that nearly one million pounds has been raised for good causes across the country.
“Before the charge Scotland consumed a staggering 800 million carrier bags every year, many of which ended up polluting our environment and threatening wildlife. So, it’s really great to see just how successful this initiative has been.”