Charge cuts plastic bags by 147 M

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:53 GMT, Jul 24, 2015 |

The number of plastic bags handed out by supermarkets in Scotland fell by 147 million last year, the first figures since a 5p charge was introduced.

The reduction came despite the levy for single-use bags only being in place for the final 11 weeks of the year.

But in England – where large shops will have to charge for plastic bags from October, 200 million more bags were used in 2014, a research suggested.

Northern Ireland saw usage fall by 42.6%, while Wales had a rise of 5.2%.

The fall in Scotland follows statistics released three months ago, which suggested the number of carrier bags being used by shoppers had fallen by 90%.