Scotland cuts carrier bag use by 80% in 12 months


The 5p charge for carrier bags in Scotland has led to 650 million less bags used in the past year.

Data from major grocers shows that there has been an 80% reduction in bags used since 20 October 2014.


Funds of around £6.7 million have been donated to good causes since the charge was introduced.

Morrisons, the Co-operative and Waitrose have all reported a reduction of 80%, while ASDA has reported a drop of 90%. Sainsbury’s no longer offers single use carrier bags to customers, so has seen a 100% reduction.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The 5p charge has been a major success with the number of single use bags down by a staggering 650 million, and with nearly £7 million raised for good causes.

“Previously, statistics showed that people in Scotland used more than 800 million new single-use carrier bags every year – more per head than anywhere else in the UK.

“I thank Scotland for embracing this policy and showing we’re serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s now becoming second nature to shoppers to reuse their carrier bags and hopefully to think more about our impact on the environment. I am confident that Scotland is going to go from strength to strength in its bid to tidy up our streets and beaches, where litter has been a highly visible problem in the past.”