Lush says shoppers support 5p charge for carrier bags
THE vast majority of shoppers in Cheltenham would support the introduction of a 5p charge on all single use carrier bags, according to the findings of one of the town's retailers.
Lush Cosmetics have conducted a survey throughout the last week, asking people what they thought of the idea.
The High Street shop polled around 600 people and found the majority would sign up for the charge.
They presented their findings to Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood.
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Millie Olive, a supervisor at Lush, said: "We had asked our customers what they thought about bringing in a 5p charge on all plastic carrier bags.
"We found that people were willing to pay the charge and that the plastic bag habit resulted in too much waste.
"It is about trying to find a better way. If people had to pay 5p for every bag they would probably be more likely to use them again."
A national survey carried out by polling experts ICM for the Break the Bag Habit campaign found 75 per cent of people across the country would think twice about taking bags if a charge was applied.
Councillor Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability at Cheltenham Borough Council, welcomed the idea.
He said: "The council has no powers to enforce retailers to charge a fee for plastic bags.
"I do, however, think that it's great that some retailers such as Lush are taking this on. B&Q for example charged me 5p for a carrier bag at the weekend and I am in support of the message they're sending out."
There is currently no plan to introduce the charge universally in England despite its success in Wales where single use carrier bag usage fell by 95 per cent after the levy was implemented.
Sallie Agombar, co-ordinator of the Cheltenham Friends of the Earth, said: "Ultimately plastic bags are a waste of plastic and end up going to landfill or in to waterways."