Plastic is undeniably one of the major sources of today’s pollution. According to Ocean Crusader, there is about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean today. That’s just the plastic pollution in our dear bodies of water, what more in lands?
With an effort to prevent this from going any further, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland had a brilliant idea of charging plastic carrier bags. England was the last nation to introduce such rule, indicating that any major retailer that employs more than 250 staff has to charge 5p for every single-use plastic bag they give away. But as they say, better late than never!
For only six months after passing this rule, astounding results have been noticed. There were more than 7 billion plastic bags handed out in shops across the UK, but with the new levy, the number has dropped to 640 million in the first six months. That is basically an 85 percent drop in the number!
The aforementioned nations have also successfully decreased plastic use with 71 percent in Northern Ireland, 76 percent in Wales, and 80 percent in Scotland, respectively. Not only did it create a trend of reduced plastic bags habit, the charge has also helped raise up to £30 million ($40 million) which has been used to donate to good causes like charities, environmental causes, and community groups. With this success in large supermarket chains, they wanted to extend this rule to small business and further encourage people to instead take reusable bags with them when they shop.
This scheme is hoped to help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in the landfill and gets blown out to sea. This can lead to a safer marine life and a cleaner community that the future generation to see. A small deed with a big impact, that’s what this is! Plus, you wouldn’t want to live in a world where it’s normal for a plastic bag to randomly reach your face, right?