The government has launched the 'Get a bag habit' campaign in an effort to cut the number of plastic bags used. Launched in connection with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the campaign aims to encourage the reuse of carrier bags when shopping.

Although the number of plastic bags handed out by retailers has been cut by 26% compared to 2006's figures, a recent DEFRA survey has revealed that 9.9 billion carrier bags were handed out in 2008 and that the average person uses more than 160 new carrier bags each year.

Commenting on the campaign, environment minister Jane Kennedy praised retailers for their good work so far but urged them to do more. She said: "Retailers and the public have already made great steps in the right direction, and I think if we can really '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."

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