Research has revealed that UK shoppers use 13,000 carrier bags in their lifetimes, as the Government and the British Retail Consortium launch a campaign to encourage bag reuse. A survey of shoppers found that on average we use over 160 new carrier bags each year, at least 400 a year for the average household.
The survey, by YouGov, found that half of those questioned had up to 40 carrier bags hoarded at home and ready to reuse.
The Get a Bag Habit campaign aims to encourage the reuse of carrier bags and follows a commitment by seven leading supermarkets to reach a 50 per cent cut in the number of bags given out by the end of May this year. Since 2006 retailers have reduced the amount of bags they give out by 26 per cent.
Environment Minister Jane Kennedy said: "We simply can't continue using the billions of new carrier bags we do every year. It's such a huge waste and a visible symbol of our throwaway society.
"Retailers and the public have already made great steps in the right direction, and I think if we really can 'get a bag habit' and remember to reuse our bags, it puts us on the right track to doing even more to reduce the amount of waste we're sending to landfill."
Average regional bag use per year
On average we use over 160 new carrier bags each year which equals at least 400 a year for the average household
|London|| 1.3 bn|
|East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex)||470 m|
|Greater Manchester||370 m|
|Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset||260 m|
|East Midlands||220 m|
|Devon and Cornwall||200 m|
|Liverpool urban area||130 m|
Shoppers top tips for remembering to reuse their bags
* keeping them in the boot of the car
* keeping them in handbags
* having a bag caddy by the door
* hanging them on the back door.