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The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has welcomed new statistics from the government that show that sales of plastic carrier bags have fallen by 95 per cent since the carrier bag levy was introduced.

However the NFRN is urging the government to follow through with its promise to extend the scheme to independent retailers in England.

The data shows a 59 per cent drop in plastic carrier bag sales in the last year alone in main supermarkets, with charities receiving nearly £180 million since 2015.

Plastic carrier bag sales have dropped by more than 95 per cent in Engand’s main supermarkets since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015.

The average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarket retailers, compared with 10 last year and 140 in 2014.

As a result of the charge, £178 million has been donated to charitable causes, with £9.2 million donated in the last year alone.

Reiterating the importance of independent retailers being included in the plastic carrier bag levy scheme, NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said: “The data is great news for consumers, retailers and for the environment.

“If we want to continue to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags then the government must follow through on its promise that it made to the NFRN, to end the exclusion of independent retailers from the carrier bag levy scheme.”

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