Thin-gauge carrier bags used in the UK per person, per month 2010 to 2014

This statistic shows how many thin-gauge (single-use) bags were used by shoppers in the United Kingdom (UK) per person, per month from 2010 to 2014. The number of bags used in England has increased since 2010, while the number of bags used in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has decreased. In a bid to reduce the number of plastic carry bags being used, England introduced a five pence surcharge on single-use bags on October 5, 2015, similar to the charge already in place across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unlike in other jurisdictions, several exemptions and conditions have been attached to the English policy, and many critics feel this will limit the impact the policy will have.

Number of thin-gauge (single-use) carrier bags used per person each month in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010 to 2014, by country

EnglandWalesScotlandNorthern Ireland
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Release date

July 2015


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2010 to 2014

Supplementary notes

Thin-gauge bags are defined as all paper bags and polyethylene bags of a gauge (thickness) less than 25 microns. Data for the four nations of the UK are presented using information reported by the majority of retailers.

Population data sourced from the Office of National Statistics.

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