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  Green scheme targets plastic bags
Updated 20 May 2002, 16.00

Action is being taken to stop carrier bags clogging up the environment.

We use eight billion plastic bags every year in Britain - which is about 134 bags per person!

Fact File
Who else has bag bans?
Bombay
Delhi
Bangladesh
Taiwan
They cause loads of litter and pollution, mainly because they take 500 years to degrade.

So now the government's planning to charge shoppers nine pence per carrier bag, to encourage them to recycle.

90 per cent drop

Carrier bag being packed
This is already happening in Ireland, where the green scheme's been a great success.

The extra cash goes towards environmental projects, but so far hardly any money's been raised in Ireland, as so many people have started re-using their old carrier bags.

Delighted environment experts in Ireland said there's been a 90 per cent drop in people using new carrier bags in the last two months.

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