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London councils set to ban plastic bags

Published:  23 July, 2008

Local authorities are expected to move today to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in the UK capital.

Chief executives of the 33 borough councils are currently in a meeting in which the decision is likely to be taken to force retailers to end their use of plastic for containing purchases.

A survey conducted by London Councils, an organisation which represents the city authorities, found that 90% favoured a complete ban, or a tax levied upon the use of plastic bags.

"The mood is to do something," said a spokesperson for London Councils.

Since the Treasury is unlikely to support a tax on plastic, the ban is the most likely scenario. After a decision by the London councils, Parliament would then be required to vote for the ban to become law.

The use of free plastic carrier bags has fallen by 10% in the last six months at Sainsbury's stores said the retailer, and shopkeepers in 80 towns across Britain have moved to reduce their use of plastic bags.