Make plastic bags cost £5 and bring back paper ones - some of your ideas for reducing waste

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Raising the cost of plastic bags and bringing back paper shopping bags are some ideas you put forward to help reduce plastic waste in our shops.

The Government introduced a mandatory 5p charge for plastic bags in UK stores in 2016, with the move seeing plastic back usage dropping by 85% in the first six months.

Theresa May now plans to roll out the charge to smaller stores, as retailers in England with fewer than 250 employees are presently exempt from the charge.

The Prime Minister said said she wanted her Government to make a stand against the throwaway culture.

But the idea hasn't gone down 100% well here. A poll of our readers so far has 55% people against the idea of extending the 5p charge to smaller stores.

However, many of you have your own ideas on cutting back on waste.

Douglas Brown suggested the charge be raised to 20p a bag. But Paul Gray went one further.

He said: "5p doesn't stop people from using a plastic bag... if you made plastic bags £5 they would disappear off the face of the earth."

Shirley Carruthers said: "Why don't we go back to paper carrier bags?"

Adeleine Stubbs agreed.

She said: "Primark always use paper bags so why can't other shops - I remember as a child brown carrier bags with string handles?"

There were some who weren't keen on the idea, however, including Gemma Louise Thompson who said paper bags "turn to mush" if it rains.

Katrina Beck said: "Everyone is going on about this charge - why don’t you use your bags for life then? Or bring your own bags."

Denise Houston said: "I work in a shop people still moan about 5p charge some will not buy a bag see them try to carry about 20 items, dropping them on the way out just to prove a point."

In response to some calling the 5p levy "a scam", Graham Henderson pointed out that the Government doesn't get the money raised from carrier bag charges, and it often went to good causes.

"To be fair, most of the shops are giving there carrier bag money to charity," he said.

Mary Murphy said good causes profited from her plastic bag use. She said "I pass all my plastic bags on to the charity shops. They are always grateful, especially now."

Sue Ryan said she wanted to see plain bags introduced to stores.

"I think 5p bags should be plain, not have the store's logo on, " she said. i dont mind paying for bags , but I don't want to advertise for the shop."

Paul Coverley said: "Why don't they just stop making them ,full stop ,if they don't exist anymore ,people will soon find an alternative."