Carrier bags usage and attitudes: Consumer research in England

Start date:
February 2014
July 2014

WRAP commissioned consumer research on behalf of Defra in February 2014, in the context of the proposed introduction of a 5p charge for single use plastic carrier bags in England from October 2015, as well as work to develop standards for biodegradable bags.

This research helps to inform the implementation of the charge (including how it is communicated to consumers) and provides information on the factors currently influencing consumer bag use. Food shopping, as opposed to other types of shopping, was the main focus of this research.

Among the findings of the research were:

  • Almost three-fifths of survey respondents supported a proposed 5p charge on plastic carrier bags.
  • Environmental motivations followed by practical considerations (e.g. bag strength) were most frequently cited as reasons for not picking up new plastic carrier bags at the till.
  • Over half of survey respondents stated that simply forgetting their own bags is the reason for not always using bags from home.

The final report can be downloaded from the WRAP website, here.

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