More than a fifth of under 35s will “suck up” 5p plastic bag charges, Future Thinking finds



Business intelligence consultancy Future Thinking has released findings revealing consumer awareness regarding the introduction of a 5p charge by supermarkets for the use of plastic carrier bags.

22% of under 35s stated that they were prepared to pay 5p per plastic bag in the future, and half (53%) said they will take their own bags to the supermarket. The remaining quarter were left unaware of the upcoming change all together.

The 55+ age group are most likely to use their own bags with 79% saying they will do so. Overall, 15% of consumers said they will pay for, and continue to use plastic carrier bags.

Participants were asked whether they were aware that from the 5 October, shoppers will be charged 5p for single-use carrier bags in all supermarkets and many high street shops in England. Of the 2180 people involved, 82% were currently aware of the impending charge, furthermore, two thirds of this group are intending to take their own bags from now on.

Noreen Kinsey, head of shopper Insights, said: “It will be interesting to see how many of the 8.5bn plastic bags used annually we can cut out of our lives with the new 5p charge. Although many individuals are already used to using their own bags, many, particularly younger adults, will need to change their shopping habits. It seems some are prepared to suck up the charges, but it’s encouraging that the majority are welcoming the move towards greater sustainability.”