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Ask 7 Cents a Plastic Bag and 90% of English Say ‘No Thanks’

  • Bag use seen falling annually to 1 billion from 7.6 billion
  • Eight million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year
plastic bags
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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Requiring U.K. consumers to pay 5 pence (7 U.S. cents) for a plastic shopping bag yielded almost a 90 percent drop in their use.

Charging people for choosing a plastic bag may be good news for the planet’s seas. Around eight million tons of plastic makes its way into oceans each year globally, which is ingested by 31 species of marine mammals and more than 100 species of sea birds, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement on Saturday.