The Scottish Government has announced plans to consult in the autumn on methods of reducing single-use carrier bag consumption.
Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said the proposals follow a Scottish National Party manifesto commitment to phase out free carrier bags, and that the Government will consider legislation.
He said: “It’s hugely encouraging that so many people are now taking this issue seriously and, in the past five years, we have seen a lot of progress in cutting plastic bag use, by shops and shoppers. We want to phase out the use of free plastic bags in supermarkets, with the continued help of retailers.
“We want Scotland to become a zero-waste society. Our consultation, which takes place this autumn, will look at options for cutting bag use even further, and we will consider legislating on this issue if need be. This consultation forms part of a wide range of actions the Scottish Government is taking to reduce waste levels.”
The announcement follows the recent WRAP UK carrier bag figures, which identified a 50 million increase in carrier bag consumption in Scotland between June 2009 and May 2010, and January-December 2010, when bag use rose from 540 to 590 million