Environment Secretary to consider free biodegradeable plastic bags


Biodegradeable plastic bags could escape a planned 5p charge for carrier bags, the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has said.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, he said that he would also look to set standards for biodegradeable bags.

He said: “In tandem with Nick Clegg’s announcement of a 5p charge on plastic carrier bags, I want to work with the industry on setting a standard for biodegradeable bags.

“Any bags complying with this new standard could be given out by retailers for free or at a lower cost, reducing their environmental impact and incentivising a whole new industry.”

Otherwise, in a speech devoted almost entirely to agriculture and the rural economy, Owen Paterson didn’t mention anything else regarding recycling or resource efficiency.

He outlined his priorities as boosting the rural economy, improving the environment, and safeguarding animal and plant health.