How many people will start using their own bags to avoid the new 5p plastic bag tax?

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From today shoppers will be charged 5p for every plastic bag they use, but almost a fifth of people surveyed said they did not know they would be charged.

According to a survey by market consultancy Future Thinking, 25 per cent of people under 35 were unaware the tax was coming into effect and more than a fifth of under-35s said they would “suck-up” the plastic bag charge and carry on using them now the charge is in place.

That still leaves 53 per cent of under-35s who said they'd bring their own bags to avoid paying the charge.

The under-35s are less savvy than the over-55s, 79 per cent of whom said they'll bring their own bags to put shopping in. Overall, 67 per cent of people asked said the levy will work and they won't get plastic bags at the till.

That's a lot but still less than the government’s target to reduce the number of bags by 80 per cent. Currently 8.5bn plastic bags are used each year.

The levy is already in place in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and the Scottish government in April there had been an 80 per cent reduction in plastic bag usage since the charge was introduced.

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