Last year, it was revealed that the carrier bag charge of 5p (introduced in October 2015) helped to see the number of single-use bags utilised by shoppers fall by over 85 per cent.
Central England Co-Operative has been using the money coming in from plastic bag sales to deliver and install three devices at funeral homes and food stores in the local area, the first stage of its initiative to install such equipment in the majority of its trading outlets across 16 counties.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the UK’s biggest killers and, after listening to the concerns of customers, members and partners, we want to help tackle the issue by getting more life-saving equipment into communities where it can save lives,” the company’s chief executive, Martyn Cheatle, said.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the 5p charge has also seen donations come flooding in to the tune of over £29 million from retailers to good causes. In the 12 months before the charge was introduced (England was the last to adopt the levy), over seven billion bags were used across seven main supermarkets. But this fell to just over 500 million in the first six months that the charge was in operation.
It’s great to see that such small actions can actually make huge changes around the world. Let’s see what happens next.