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Plastic bag levy raises almost £10m for charities, according to CAF figures

Melanie May | 5 August 2016 | News

Nearly £10 million has been distributed to charities via the Charities Aid Foundation by retailers including Aldi, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s since the levy was introduced in October 2015, CAF has revealed.
CAF figures show that the levy had raised at least £29 million in total for good causes in its first six months.
Aldi has raised approximately £1.1m by the sale of carrier bags in its stores., and has donated £580,000 to the RSPB as part of a three year partnership, according to CAF. The partnership has enabled the implementation of a UK-wide education programme with the aim of re-engaging children with nature. The remainder of the money has been placed into Aldi’s CAF Company Account for distribution to other good causes.

Between October 2015 and April 2016 Marks & Spencer used 45.7 million single use carrier bags in its UK stores. The net proceeds were £1.9m with the money raised going to a number of charities via CAF with whom the retailer has worked for many years including Breast Cancer Now, UNICEF and WWF.
Sainsbury’s removed all single use carrier bags from its stores in England, Scotland and Wales, instead charging 5p for stronger, re-useable bags made from 100% recyclable material. If they wear out the retailer replaces them free of charge. While not subject to the levy, profit from sale of the bags is donated by individual stores to local charities via CAF with over a thousand good causes supported overall.

Klara Kozlov, head of CAF’s Corporate Clients team, said:
“Not only has the introduction of the plastic bag levy benefitted the environment, but it has had a huge positive impact for charities. Millions of pounds has been raised for good causes which has helped to fund vital work which otherwise may not have been possible.
“By working with CAF, using CAF company account charitable accounts and creating new strategic partnerships, retailers have maximised the opportunity to support national as well as local organisations. We hope they will continue to work together to develop these worthwhile relationships which benefit so many good causes.”