Comparing optimism about the 5p plastic bag charge last year and now

In 2014 7.6 billion plastic bags were given away to customers by major supermarkets. In 2015 England introduced a plastic bag tax in an effort to reduce the environmental impact, catching up with its Scottish and Welsh neighbours, but the move was met with some skepticism.

As the levy came into effect in October 2015, the Daily Mail ran this front page:

The scheme being introduced in many stores across England risks becoming a shambles because of the bizarre and complicated rules laid down by ministers...

Critics say the red tape surrounding the scheme will confuse and anger shoppers, meaning the predicted 70 per cent reduction in bags issued at tills – or 5.4 billion bags a year – will not be delivered.

Fast forward a year, and it turns out the scheme has actually been very successful.

In fact, since the levy six billion plastic bags have been taken out of circulation, and of the £41.3m made, £29.2m has been donated to charity.

Have a look at Saturday's Daily Mail front page for comparison:

What a difference a few months make.

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