Give bag tax to canals, says IWA

Litter Picking

Litter Picking - Credit: Archant

Money from the new levy on plastic carrier bags should be used to improve local communities by allocating it to cleaning up canals and rivers, says the Inland Waterways Association.

In 2013 supermarkets in the UK issued some 8 billion single-use bags – and as anyone who takes part in a canal cleanup will be aware (and as our picture shows), a fair number of them end up in the canals. Retailers collecting the 5p charge for disposable bags are expected to donate the proceeds to good causes (particularly environmental ones), and IWA feels the waterways are an ideal candidate.

“Plastic and packaging waste is terrible for the waterways habitat and marine life, as well as for the wider enjoyment of the waterways’ millions of annual visitors”, said IWA Campaigns Officer Alison Smedley. The Association is encouraging retailers interested in supporting its charitable work to contact IWA for further information via