Funny how we say ‘the numbers don’t lie’, when with a little smoke and mirrors, they clearly can. Drill down deeper into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures and you realise it’s far from mission accomplished. This ‘hugely successful’ charge has not reduced the actual amount of plastic we use for bags overall, we simply use it differently, making BILLIONS of thicker bags-for-life and then don’t include them in the reduction stats. Every household has a cupboard overflowing with an average of 50 of them.

Far from being a ‘world leader’, the UK lag behind in most plastic reduction initatives, We delayed the single use plastic ban 6 months, whereas Europe stuck to the agreed timetable. We still export over 60% of our plastic waste.

Turkey alone receives up to 200 huge shipping containers every day, packed with our UK plastic waste. We need less deflection, less consultations, less pacts and pledges and more action. To start, the plastic bag should no longer exist. Why aren’t we joining the 60+ progressive countries like Rwanda, Kenya and South Korea who have banned plastic bags completely? Right now we are using numbers to fool ourselves that real progress is being made. – Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder of A Plastic Planet