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Wales to charge shoppers for bags

Sept. 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

CARDIFF, Wales, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Politicians in Wales say they hope charging people for carrying bags at stores and markets will encourage them to change their shopping habits and re-use bags.

Beginning Saturday, shoppers will be charged 8 cents for each single-use bag made from plastic, paper and biodegradable material at all shops in Wales, the BBC reported.

Politicians and environmentalists are hoping the bag charge is high enough to convince people to bring their own bags when shopping, reducing the amount of litter and waste of resources.

By re-using bags, people would be "contributing to a more sustainable Wales," First Minister Carwyn Jones said.

However, a recent poll found most people in Wales know little about why the charge had been introduced or where the revenue would go, The Guardian reported.

The poll found less than 2 percent knew the money was earmarked for charitable causes, with the majority of respondents saying they thought the charge was a profit-making scheme or a tax imposed by the Labor government.

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