Simply re-using or recycling carrier bags could help the environment – according to a number of trade authorities which vehemently oppose proposals to add mandatory charges on bags, cites irishpackaging.com.

Reported in full by packagingnews.co.uk, a number of high-profile associations – the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA), the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa), the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) and the British Plastics Federation (BPF) - are calling on ministers in England/Scotland to drop potential mandatory charges on carrier bags as it will hurt the consumer.

Hitting the consumer in the wallet by making them buy bags with every purchase – thus making their shop that little bit more expensive – is not the way forward, they claim.

Instead, following best practice by urging consumers to place their bags in recycling bins or re-using their bags is the way forward.

Barry Turner, Pafa chief executive, commented on the situation: “There is no evidence to support the frequent suggestions that introducing bag charges delivers overall environmental benefits or that in some way restricting the numbers of carrier bags in use will make consumers more environmentally-conscious in other areas of their lives.

“In fact, all that is needed is for consumers to follow best practice by re-using or recycling their bags once they have served their very useful first purpose of carrying food and shopping safely,” he added.

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