Should England charge for plastic bags?

  • 8 April 2013
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Correspondent Chris Page reports for Newsround

From today people in Northern Ireland will now have to pay 5p every time they need a plastic bag.

The money will be used by the government there to fund projects to help the environment.

Wales began charging shoppers for plastic bags two years ago, and it's expected to come into place in Scotland soon too.

But in England you can still get plastic carriers for free in most shops.

It's thought that charging for the bags will make people think about re-using them, and that it will be better for the environment.

But some shop owners think it'll damage their business.

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Martin finds out what people think about the tax

You told us what you think about the charge and whether it should it be introduced in England.

Your comments:

"I think the charge is not good and it shouldn't be introduced in England because we already pay high prices for food taxes and bills. Why should we have to pay money for a plastic bag? It's just silly. It's only a plastic bag!"

Aybuke, London, England

"I think that it's a good idea for the environment but high street stores could lose customers because people may not be able to afford the bags."

Rhyanna, Birmingham, England

"No, because a lot of people are in poverty or debt and this just adds money onto your shopping."

Alisha, Essex, England

"Well, if it's good for the environment, then yes, definitely. There is more we could do to help save the environment - paying for bags is nothing!"

Hetty, Ashford, England

"I think bags should cost money to help the environment, but they shouldn't cost too much."

Ellie, Dover, England

"I think that England should charge for plastic bags, because the environment is in danger now and we must not add to the pollution. Plastic bags pollute our planet, because they take hundreds of years to decompose. We can replace plastic bags with bags made from other materials, like paper, they will decompose quickly. I believe, that we shouldn't pay for bags that are good for the environment."

Daria, Moscow, Russia

"Definitely yes to charging, I always forget my Eco bags but I know the minute I have to pay for a carrier bag I'd remember them."

Janice, London, England

"I can see how it would encourage people to bring their own bags, but it's only 5p. I don't think people are going to care if they have already spent a lot of money on their weekly shop."

Amy, Kent, England

"I think people should be charged for bags - it will make people remember to bring some from home to use in the shops, and people will think twice about throwing them in the bin. My mum always re-uses bags. It's not difficult to stick one in your pocket, bag or the boot of your car."

Annabel, Berkhamsted, England

"I think this is a very good idea because we take things for granted. We should learn to be sustainable and be Eco-friendly."

Narmada, London, England