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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 17:39 GMT
London seeks throw-away bags ban
Plastic bags
Londoners use at least 1.6bn bags each year
London's boroughs have backed a Bill seeking a city-wide ban of free throw-away shopping bags.

In a public consultation by London Councils - representing all 33 boroughs - almost 60% of respondents supported an outright ban on plastic bags.

The London Local Authorities (Shopping Bag) Bill is due to be deposited in Parliament on 27 November.

About 1.6bn bags are used in London every year and only one in 200 of these is recycled, said London Councils.

Impulse purchases

Merrick Cockell, of London Councils, said the aim was to rid the city of the "environmental blight" of plastic bags.

He said: "As a society, we need to do far more to reduce the amount of waste we are sending to landfill.

"I urge all Londoners to voice their support to their MP and back the Bill once it gets to Parliament."

Government experts agree there are unintended consequences in taxing or banning carrier bags
Barry Turner, Carrier Bag Consortium

But David Tyson, of the Packaging and Films Association, said the move would risk damaging London as one of Europe's premier shopping and tourist destinations.

He said: "Shoppers need carrier bags for impulse purchases and the majority of supermarket bags are re-used as bin liners or to collect dog droppings."

Mr Tyson claimed that action against carrier bags in Ireland had resulted in "greater environmental impacts" and the Scottish Parliament had abandoned similar plans as there was no proven environmental benefit.

The price of the plastic bags is already included in the price of the goods I buy
Tristan McAlpine, Guildford

Meanwhile Barry Turner, of the Carrier Bag Consortium, said it was "a serious error of judgement based on spin not science".

Mr Turner said: "Government experts agree there are unintended consequences in taxing or banning carrier bags."

He said that to take forward this proposal "on the basis of less than 2,000 public votes" was irresponsible.

Reactions over the proposed plastic bag ban

Should there be a nationwide ban on free throw-away shopping bags?
Not sure
7152 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

In defence of plastic bags
01 Nov 07 |  Magazine
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22 Oct 07 |  Business

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