Friday, 29 February 2008


Gordon Brown has warned retailers he will force them to cut down on plastic bag use if they do not act voluntarily.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he told stores that "If government compulsion is needed to make the change, we will take the necessary steps."

"We do not take such steps lightly - but the damage that single-use plastic bags inflict on the environment is such that strong action must be taken," he said.

Strong talk, but Gordon Brown is the Chancellor who bottled out after the Irish Government scheme was seen to be a success. When I was preparing my GLA report “Plastic Not Fantastic” in 2003, one of the supermarkets told us that they had fully expected the tax to come in at that time and were amazed when Gordon Brown turned it down. Still, better late than never.

However, the hypocrisy and fine words continue. Also in today’s papers:

“Meanwhile the Conservatives have released official figures which indicate that government departments and agencies have bought more than 1.2 million plastic bags branded with their logos over the last two years.”

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