Environment Minister, Ben Bradshaw's view

Mr. Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of a plastic bag tax; and if he will make a statement. [20891]
Mr. Bradshaw: The Government recognise the benefits of reducing the number of plastic bags used, but does not consider that the case for a tax on plastic bags has been demonstrated conclusively.  A recent Extended Impact Assessment carried out by the Scottish Executive on a proposal to introduce a levy on plastic carrier bags in Scotland concluded that there would be a broad environmental disbenefit if a levy was introduced on the lines proposed.  We are continuing to keep developments in Scotland and Ireland under review. (Hansard 31 October 2005)