The number of single use carrier bags used by supermarket customers in Wales slumped by 76% in the first year since a levy was introduced, new figures reveal.

Data published by Wrap highlights the contrast between bag usage in Wales and England, which is the only part of the UK without plans to introduce charging.

In England carrier bag usage rose by 4.4% to more than seven billion in 2012, while in Wales only 70 million ‘thin gauge’ bags were used by supermarket customers – down from 270 million in 2011.

In Scotland – where a 5p will levy will come into force next year – the figure rose by 1.1% to 750 million.

Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chief executive said Welsh convenience stores had given “overwhelmingly positive” feedback on the 5p levy.

Ian Feline, operations manager at Martin McColl, said its Welsh stores had turned the legislation into a “PR exercise” by highlighting the charities which would benefit from the proceeds of the levy.