The government has released some stats covering the plastic shopping bag charge that was recently extended to cover England, revealing that a really quite unfathomable six billion fewer bags were used by shoppers in England as a result of the introduction of the 5p charge.
The government's stats say that retailers passed on more than £29 million raised from the charges to good causes and charities, with the total number of plastic bags given out by supermarkets falling from over seven billion in 2014 to just over 500 million in the six months following the introduction of the charge in October 2015.
During the same initial six month period 1.1 billion single-use carrier bags were sold, so we're not all using rucksacks, reusable totes and bin liners to carry our shopping home just yet.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Taking six billion plastic bags out of circulation is fantastic news for all of us – it will mean our precious marine life is safer, our communities are cleaner and future generations won’t be saddled with mountains of plastic sat taking hundreds of years to breakdown in landfill sites." [GOV via BBC]