After several years of plastic bag use falling the last year has seen a surprise rise of so called single use carriers.

New figures released by WRAP show a total of 6.4 billion single-use bags were used by supermarket customers across the UK in 2010.

Overall plastic bag use increased by 5% compared to 2009 when 6.1 billion bags were used.

However, the figures were still down from 2006, the first year WRAP recorded bag use, when 10.7 billion bags were used an overall reduction of 40%.

A spokesman for WRAP said: “The figures show on average people now use 8.6 single-use bags per month, compared to 14.7 bags per month back in 2006 and 8.2 bags per month between June 2009 and May 2010.

“Overall, a total of 6.8 billion carrier bags (including single-use, bags-for-life and reusable bags such as those made from cotton and jute) were used in 2010.

“This figure compares with 10.9 billion bags being used in 2006, an overall reduction of 37%.”

Luke Walsh

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