Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
Tunnels investment to improve A55 resilience
Major improvements in the resilience and safety of the A55 will be carried out over the next three years as a result of capital investment by the Welsh Government.
- Jobs Growth Wales reaches record high
- Building a world class qualifications system for Wales
- Tunnels investment to improve A55 resilience
- Local authority environmental permitting fees and charges 2014-2015
- Alternatives to Waste Transfer Notes and other aspects of Waste Regulation
- Proposals concerning the publication of official statistics
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
- Undertaking fatal and non-fatal drug poisoning reviews in Wales
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.
Written Statement - An update on the single use carrier bags charge in Wales
Research on attitudes before and after the launch of the single-use carrier bag charge.
John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development
Single use carrier bags are a waste of resources and blight our beautiful Welsh landscape. We have all seen carrier bags caught in trees or littering roadsides, reducing the quality of the places where we live and work. Single use carrier bags are a symbol of our throw away society.
We introduced a 5 pence charge on the supply of new single use carrier bags on 1 October last year. The aim of this charge is to substantially reduce the number of single use carrier bags supplied in Wales and create a real behaviour change, where taking reusable bags to the shops is the norm. Information from other countries around the world, already charging for carrier bags, showed us that only by introducing a charge could we substantially reduce the number of bags supplied and help towards our goal of becoming a zero waste nation.
I am pleased to say that charge is having a real impact on reducing the number of single use carrier bags supplied in Wales. Over the last six months we have been working with retailers and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to gather data from a sample of retailers to establish an estimate of the impact of the charge. The data collected indicates that the number of single use carrier bags supplied in Wales has drastically reduced since the introduction of the charge. The reductions estimated by retailers are as follows:
- Food retail - between 96% and 70% reductions
- Fashion - between 75% and 68% reductions
- Home improvement - 95% reduction
- Food service - up to 45% reduction
- Telecommunications - 85% reduction
We wanted the people of Wales to get into the habit of reusing their bags when shopping and the reduction in numbers of single use carrier bags suggest that the charge is achieving this aim. However, to further understand how the general public are adapting to the charge, research was commissioned from Cardiff University to gather data on the public’s behaviour and attitudes towards the charge. The findings of the research are very encouraging as it suggests that the charge is both effective and popular. The research shows that:
- the charge has helped to greatly increase own bag use in Wales (from 61% of people using their own bag prior to the charge to 82% after) across all age groups and for men and women alike;
- the charge is widely supported in Wales. Even before its introduction, the charge was supported by a majority of the Welsh population (59%). Support for the charge increased even further after its introduction to 70%;
- a significant majority of the Welsh population believe that charging 5 pence for each single-use carrier bag is an effective way of reducing waste, helps to reduce litter and are generally willing to pay a 5 pence charge if the money goes to charity.
It is therefore apparent that we are successfully achieving our aims of both reducing the number of single use carrier bags supplied in Wales and helping to modify the public’s behaviour to reuse bags when shopping, not only for groceries but also in the high street.
I would like to thank the people of Wales and retailers, small and large, for helping make this policy a success to date, however more still needs to be done to achieve our aims of becoming a zero waste nation and we will continue to work with both the retailers and the public to achieve this.
The success of the single use carrier bags charge has shown that Wales is leading the way in minimising our use of resources and reducing litter, improving the quality of the local environment for our communities across Wales.