Leading UK supermarket retailers and the British Retail Consortium are working with UK Governments to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags.
Following on from the 2009 Agreement, participants agreed to continue monitoring customer bag usage without setting any formal targets, using a 2006 baseline.
2012 (2011 data)
New data released in July 2012 by WRAP shows a rise in the number of single-use carrier bags used by supermarket customers across the UK during 2011, compared to the previous year.
A total of 7.9 billion of 'thin-gauge' bags were issued in the UK in 2011, which represents a 5.4% rise compared with 2010 (7.6 billion). However, when compared with 2006, when WRAP first began gathering this data, there has been an overall decline of 35% from 12.2 billion.
The figures reveal that there has been a 51% reduction in the amount of virgin polymer used in the manufacture of all carrier bags (including re-usable 'bags for life') since 2006. However, between 2010 and 2011 there was an 11% increase in virgin polymer use.
Including re-usable bags, the overall number of bags distributed in 2011 was 8.4 billion - a drop since 2006 of 4.0 billion. In 2010, the overall number of bags was 8.0 billion.
Read about what steps are being taken to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags.
Number of bags (millions)
|Bags for Life||245||280||399||362||406||416|