M&S Charge 5p for Carrier Bags

After the little town of Modbury in Devon banned carrier bags last year, it has taken a long time for anyone else in England to catch up.

In fact nobody has caught up yet, there are just schemes to deter shoppers from using the dreaded polluting plastic bags, of which a staggering 13 billion are given away free every year across the country. Taking around 1000 years to decay, it's no wonder something needs to be done about the "white trash".

Step in Marks & Spencer, the forward-thinking, environmentally-friendly eco-warrior of big-name high street retailers, you know, the guys who bought us Plan A (Because there is no Plan B).

Well, OK, Marks & Sparks haven't quite gone the whole hog yet but they are going to charge shoppers a whole 5 new pence to buy a carrier bag in future. And the future is not now, the future is 6 May 2008. And for a month before the levy comes into place, those nice people at Marks & Spencer will be giving away long-lasting placcy bags that discerning shoppers can reuse.

So what's bought this about? Well, M&S ran a trial in 50 of its stores where they charged a mere 5 pence for their plastic carrier bags and demand for the oil-derived receptacles fell by 70%. Seemingly the scheme had a great impact and the 5 pence "tax" made shoppers think.

It's all part of M&S Chief Exec Sir Stuart Rose's commitment for the chain to reduce their waste to zero to landfill, as detailed in their Plan A. So come on all you other big name stores... where's your plans to charge for carrier bags?