Friday, 6 July 2012

Plastic bags!

It is difficult to reconcile these two stories about the use of plastic carrier bags in Wales. The Daily Post carries a story that, "Plastic bag tax sees use fall by 96%" since the introduction of the 5pence levy. The Independent on the other hand claims that,
Shoppers in the UK used 7.96 billion single-use bags in 2011, a rise of 5.4 per cent on the previous year – with each person taking 10 throwaway carriers a month. Plastic bag use rose steeply across most of the UK but in Wales, which introduced a 5p charge per bag last October, it fell by 22 per cent.
The Independent's data comes from WRAP the waste reduction body whilst the Daily Post's information comes from a Welsh Government survey.

So which is it to be?

11 comments:

Jac o' the North said...

I believe anything said by the Labour Party, and so I have no reason to doubt that plastic bag use in Wales has fallen by 137%.

Cibwr said...

It depends on which sector and which company, some record a drop of 95% and others a drop of 20% so both are correct for part of the market

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

That isn't the way the articles read though is it.

Anonymous said...

As long as the levy reduces bag usage I don't mind what percentage it is. I think there is scope for raising the levy to 6 or 7p next year, and keep upping it.

I only wish the Welsh coffers would be allowed to keep the revenue.

Cibwr said...

Originally the National Assembly for Wales wasn't even permitted to keep the revenue from the Assembly gift shop! (Fortunately that was permitted via a House of Lords amendment in the original Government of Wales Bill).

But yes there is a lot of sloppy journalism when it comes to stats.

Anonymous said...

It is I who is responsible for this discrepancy. Prior to the carrier bag levee, I used my carrier bags to line and dispose of soiled cat litter. I have been buying a roll of small bags off the shelf of the supermarket for this purpose. This explains the massive reduction of the number of bags previously issued at the till (WG figures), and it's dilution by an increase in plastic bags (industry figures) of those sold as a substitute. I looked at the 'cat litter' issue, and found that a sieved bucket load of pine needles and chippings from the floor of the cleared forestry plantation provides an excellent, and bio-degradable substitute. This, once used, now goes as phosphate enriched mulch under the apple trees. I wonder if this is a viable business proposition ? It costs very little to collect, and the current manufactured cat litter flies off the shelves of Tesco at £5 a go. It's a shame the 5p bag levee is not complemented with a more wide ranging green enterprise initiative. I'm sure there are other opportunities. Paw print for the valleys?

Callum Edwards said...

What does it matter ? Why constantly pick problems with everything ! As long as the usage is dropping its been a success ?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

My issue is not with the principle of reducing plastic bags, my issue is with press reporting of such matters and whether such poor journalism does anything to aid a healthy democracy.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

You haven't written anything on your blog for a while Callum, why is that? Don't tell me you haven't any ideas!

Callum Edwards said...

Just responded to your comment on my blog ..... Have lots of free time now will focus on the blog .....may even overtake this one in top 50 left political blogs .....you never know :D

Robert said...

I see plastic bag use has gone down as people now pay for example 6p in Tesco for a different type of bag with handles it still a plastic bag and only a penny more, these are not counted as the bag tax.

But of course they are thrown away well I throw them away anyway, so what are we gaining anything