Clever Old Humans Solved the Plastic Bag Problem Already

By Gary Cutlack on at

That 5p shopping bag charge appears to have had a rather immediate and positive effect on the amount of detritus found sloshing about at the bottom of the sea, with a survey of trawled-up ocean rubbish finding 30 per cent fewer bags last year than back in 2010. We fixed the planet lads, and it was all thanks to ASDA or Tesco or whoever pushed through the 5p bag charge thing.

This hot news about the delaying of the plasticising of the seas comes via the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, which monitors plastic dredged up by fishing boats in the North Sea, English Channel and Irish Sea. Our bits of sea, basically, with CEFAS scientist Thomas Maes saying: "It is encouraging to see that efforts by all of society, whether the public, industry, NGOs or government to reduce plastic bags are having an effect. We observed sharp declines in the percentage of plastic bags as captured by fishing nets trawling the seafloor around the UK compared to 2010 and this research suggests that by working together we can reduce, reuse and recycle to tackle the marine litter problem."

The bad news is that the amount of all the other kinds of rubbish in the sea have stayed the same, and fishing waste is actually on the up, which has us terrified there might be some sort of fish finger tax in the pipeline. [Sky News]