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WRAP UK reveals higher plastic bag use

United Kingdom – Customers of UK supermarkets used a total of 8.3 billion plastic carrier bags in 2013, according to the country’s Waste & Resources Action Programme UK (WRAP UK). This represents an increase of 3.2% over the 8.1 billion used in the previous year.

The 2013 figure represents a fall of 32% from the 12.2 billion used in 2006 when reporting on single-use bags began, the organisation points out. However, the number of plastic bags used has now risen for four years in a row.

According to WRAP UK, the average supermarket customer used 10.6 bags per month in 2013. The amount of virgin polymer used in carrier bags dropped by 48% between the 2006 baseline and last year. However, virgin polymer use increased by almost 5% between 2012 and 2013.

A positive trend, adds WRAP UK, is that retailers are actively promoting front-of-store recycling. Results show that roughly 40% of stores supported the recycling push.

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