That’s the title of my former colleague Ian Harrison’s response to the government’s consultative document on getting rid of (some types of) plastic bags. The consultation itself closed yesterday, but nobody supposes the consultation itself was remotely serious – the irrational ban is going to happen anyway. Having dug fairly deeply into the material used to support/underpin the consultative document, Ian illustrates just how little substance there is to the case.
Here are his key conclusions
Supermarket checkout bags do not materially contribute to littering. Common sense and overseas evidence tells us that supermarket checkout bags are not littered frequently. There is more littering of very small bags, but mostly they will not be caught by a ban. Supermarket bags possibly contribute only around 0.1-0.2 percent of littered rubbish by weight. The Ministry has neglected to conduct a survey on the actual extent of supermarket bag littering.
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