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LITTER SURVEY MEDIA REPORTS DISTORT REALITY OF THE VALUE OF PLASTIC BAGS AND THEIR MINIMAL IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

LITTER SURVEY MEDIA REPORTS DISTORT REALITY OF THE VALUE OF PLASTIC BAGS AND THEIR MINIMAL IMPACTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT

November 2014

PAFA respond to litter survey media reports that distort reality of the value of plastic bags and their minial impacts on the environment.

Barry Turner, CEO of the Packaging and Films Association, has responded to "continuing sensationalist and misleading" media coverage of the latest litter survey conducted by the Keep Britain Tidy campaign group. "Yet again the media is focusing on the percentage of sample sites where retail bags have been found rather than the percentage of litter represented by supermarket carrier bags which is just 0.2% of all littered items" he said. "In addition, the popular media continues to conveniently ignore the 40% reduction in bag consumption we achieved by voluntary means and forgets the reality that the lightweight plastic carrier bag uses the least resources for the highest functionality and re-use – compared with all the alternatives."

PAFA also reinforced the view that making people pay for bags will not stop people littering. "Littering is a serious anti-social behaviour that needs to be confronted as such. It’s time the UK media faced this issue rather than haranguing a product that is reusable and recyclable," said Turner. "Campaigns led by newspapers can have an important place in our democratic society but they need to be honest – talking about the ‘prevalence’ of plastic bags in litter when the real problem items constitute a far higher percentage is misleading."

For further information please contact

Sukhi Poonia, Sukhraj.poonia@pafa.org.uk, 0115 959 8389