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WAG must ensure money kept in the bag from plastic proposals

June 29, 2009 12:14 PM

Shadow Minister for the Environment and Sustainability Mick Bates AM has welcomed the news that plans to drastically reduce the use of plastic carrier bags are to be revealed by the Minister Jane Davidson later today but warns that proposals must be firm to ensure money raised from the levy ends up back in the hands of the people.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick stated:

"The proposals to end the use of single-use carrier bags are a big step forward for devolution. It is estimated that we use 480 million plastic bags in Wales each year and many of these go into landfill, to leave a vast legacy for many generations to come. By taking action to reduce the use of plastic bags and tackle the causes of waste from the very onset, Wales is clearly demonstrating its commitment to sustainable development, leaving Westminster behind as we lead the way on this issue.

"The levy will bring tens of millions in funds which must end up back in the hands of the public and not be just another stealth tax on the consumer. The big question for the Minister is who she will nominate to use the money raised by the levy, to ensure that it is re-distributed for the benefit of the environment.

"The rise in car tax without any real improvements to public transport has lead to a loss of faith in the system. It is crucial that the plastic bag proposals ensure the development of a fair and effective system that will have the support of small, medium and large businesses, so that the money taken at the till ends up back in the hands of the people by being used for the benefit of our environment and local communities."