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London carrier bag Bill dropped

London Councils has withdrawn the London Shopping Bags Bill from Parliament following a Government promise that it will force retailers to charge for bags if voluntary schemes do not work.

In November 2007, the London Local Authorities (Shopping Bags) Bill was deposited to Parliament following a two month consultation.

But the organisation has decided to withdraw the Bill following an amendment in the Climate Change Bill and a promise from Environment Minister Jane Kennedy  in a letter to London Councils that the Government would impose a minimum charge on shopping bags if retailers fail to voluntarily and significantly cut the number of single use plastic bags given out.

London Councils chairman Councillor Merrick Cockell said: We have today decided to withdraw the London Shopping Bags Bill, having accepted the Governments amendments to the Climate Change Bill could bring about our desired reduction in the number of single use shopping bags given out.

We are accepting the Government at its word, and fully expect them to take action against retailers should they fail to reduce numbers voluntarily. The Government must never forget the depth of public feeling on the issue. We will continue to hold them to account should they fail to deliver on their promise.

London Councils is a body that represents all 33 of the local authorities in London.

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