Around 90% of people in England now take their own bags with them when food shopping as a result of the 5p plastic carrier bag charge, new research has revealed.
This has increased from 70% before the charge was introduced in October 2015, according to the Cardiff University study.
It also found that only 7% of people are now regularly taking single-use carrier bags at the checkout, as opposed to one in four shoppers before the charge.
The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was undertaken by researchers at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture, in conjunction with IPSOS Mori. The study combined a longitudinal survey, a longitudinal diary and interview study, and observations in eight supermarkets.
Results also showed an increase in support in England for the carrier bag charge since it was introduced, rising from 51% to 62%, as well as an increase in support for other potential waste reduction charges, such as a charge on plastic water bottles.
Professor Wouter Poortinga, who led the research, said: “Overall, our research has shown that the English carrier bag charge has had a strong and positive impact on people’s attitudes and behaviours and that it successfully disrupted people using plastic bags.
“We’ve seen that the charge has become increasingly popular with the English population since it was introduced, and that it has changed attitudes towards waste policies as well.
“This suggests that other similar policies could be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coffee cups.”