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Retailers jointly protest London bag-ban
Jan '08
Legislation that would prohibit London retailers providing customers with shopping bags and create an army of council bag-ban enforcers with Revenue and Customs-style powers to burst into premises, demand evidence and issue fines, is being condemned by retailers of all sizes.

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) and the BRC (British Retail Consortium) are uniting to use Parliamentary procedure to petition against the London Local Authorities (Shopping Bags) Bill tomorrow (Wednesday).

The ACS and BRC say the bill is excessive and flies in the face of a national voluntary agreement retailers reached with the Government only last year.

They say councils should be supporting retailers' moves to improve their own, and customers', environmental performance, not wasting effort and money on pointless headline-grabbing gestures.

Retailers of all types are well on the way to achieving their commitment to reduce the environmental impact of bags by 25 per cent by the end of this year.

Initiatives include; rewarding re-use and recycling, promoting re-usable bags, reducing the plastic in bags and using recycled plastic in bags.

Retailers stress carrier bags make up only a fraction of one per cent of waste going to landfill. A total ban would make virtually no environmental difference but would have a serious impact on customers and retailers.

It would disproportionately affect impulse buys which are particularly important to convenience stores and make buying large or expensive items such as clothing, that need protection, almost impossible.

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