Killer Bags (Teeth) - 1680x1050 desktop wallpaper - http://www.breakthebaghabit.org.uk Killer Bags (Jellyfish) - 1680x1050 desktop wallpaper - http://www.breakthebaghabit.org.uk Killer Bags (Serpent) - 1680x1050 desktop wallpaper - http://www.breakthebaghabit.org.uk

Surfers Against Sewage

Break The Bag Habit

So far we've collectively pledged to prevent 759,034 single use bags from polluting the environment before the government introduces the 5p bag charge on 1st October 2015. Join us and make the pledge to refuse single use bags today!

Take the pledge

Take the pledge

By pledging to refuse single use bags at English supermarkets from today onwards you will personally reduce bag use by 144 bags before the 5p bag charge is introduced on 1st October 2015!

This year one of the environment's biggest killers will be the rubbish we leave behind us. Please help us protect our beautiful countryside, coastlines and the unique wildlife that inhabit them. Join us in pledging to refuse single use bags and encourage your friends and family to do the same! Take the pledge today:

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The campaign story

Tesco plastic bag littered on beach

19 million reasons to break the bag habit

An unbelievable 19 million single-use carrier bags are given out daily in England and as shoppers hit the stores for their post-Christmas bargains, that figure could be even higher in the first few days of 2014.

Costcutter plastic bag washing down stream to the beach

Government attempts to undermine bag charge

Surfers Against Sewage and the Break The Bag Habit Coalition members are consulting with Government over concerns with the implementation of the bag charge.

Plastic bag monster (surfer)

SAS celebrates the announcement of the introduction of single-use bag charge in England

The Break the Bag Habit coalition of environmental charities is delighted that the government has finally decided to act, listening to thousands of people across the country and is introducing a charge on single-use carrier bags in England. The 5p bag charge will be implemented in 2015, after the election.

Zac Goldsmith MP shows support for protest against single use carrier bags

Conservative Party Conference under bag monster attack

Zac Goldsmith MP shows support for protest against single use carrier bags. Surfers Against Sewage campaigners, Break the Bag Habit coalition members, Lush Cosmetics and over 20 Bag Monsters - created from over 10,000 single-use plastic bags – today ran riot outside the Conservative Party Conference.

Break The Bag Habit protesters

New poll shows England ready to break its bag habit

New polling finds that, even in difficult economic times, the English public is ready and willing to support a small charge on carrier bags to cut litter.

The problem

Single use bags are one of the UK's most visually intrusive and damaging litter items blighting our countryside and coast. The 2013 Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch survey found over 48 single use plastic bags for every km of beach surveyed. The average person uses 133 bags annually, equating to a staggering 224 bags given out in shops and supermarkets every second*. The majority of these bags are plastic and don’t biodegrade, they fragment, into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, over hundreds and thousands of years.

Littered single use paper bags are obviously visually intrusive too. And they come with their own set of environmental issues. A significant amount of trees are cut down and large amounts of water used to produce paper bags. Because paper bags are heavier than plastic bags they cost more to transport and the transportation produces more greenhouse gas emissions. And if these paper bags make it to landfill, they'll slowly break down, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

In September 2013, the Government committed to bring in a 5p bag charge on single use bags. Frustratingly though, this charge won't be brought in until the 1st October 2015. In that time there will be an estimated 14.7 billion single use thin gauge plastic bags given out in England. Many of these bags will be used only once, for a matter of minutes and then thrown into landfill, dumped into the environment or discarded. But we don't need to wait until the 1st October 2015 to take action. Pledge today, and watch the numbers of bags we stop from polluting the environment grow and grow. Surfers Against Sewage is working in partnership with Break The Bag Habit coalition partners - The Campaign To Protect Rural England, Keep Britain Tidy, Marine Conservation Society, Greener Upon Thames and Thames 21 - to eradicate millions of bags before 1st October 2015.

So why wait? Join us. Take the pledge today!

Take the pledge

* The numbers of bags quoted are taken from the 2013 WRAP report and focuses on England. This is because England is the only nation in the UK to not have introduced a bag charge

FAQs

Single use bag facts for England in 2012:

  • Over 7 billion single use bags were distributed.
  • That's 224 bags per second.
  • Or 133 bags per person per year.
  • If each of these bags were charged at 5p per bag that would cost £6.65 over the year.

Why are these pledges important?

England's approach to reducing single use bags is seriously lagging behind the rest of the UK's devolved nations. Although the Government has committed to a bag charge in 2015 for England a strong message of support is needed to ensure this commitment remains a priority and is fully implemented.

What are you going to do with these pledges?

Making the pledge can help focus our efforts on minimising our environmental impacts. Reducing the numbers of single use bags we use every year is an easy and positive change to make. The Break The Bag Habit coalition will also use the pledge numbers to remind Government and industry of the strong public support for the bag charge.

How do you calculate the number of bags offset by an individual?

When we take a pledge on our website, we calculate how many bags the average English person will use between the date of taking the pledge and the 1st October 2015, the date the UK government intends to introduce the 5p bag charge in England.

How do you calculate the overall number of single use bags the campaign will offset?

This is simply an accumulation of all the individual pledge (bags offset) numbers.

How can I help?

Simply fill out the form on this page to pledge to stop using single use bags, and make sure you stick to the pledge. You can also help us spread the word by sharing this page and the images above with your friends and family. And don't forget to tweet a Killer Bags image & campaign message to your favourite supermarket chain.

Read more FAQs

Break The Bag Habit Coalition members

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