Use of single-use carrier bags in Scotland has dropped by 650 million since the 5p tax was introduced 12 months ago.
The Scottish Government says data from major grocery retailers indicate a reduction in bag use of around 80 percent since 20 October 2014 – equivalent to at least 650 million fewer bags being handed out annually compared to previous years.
Funds of around £6.7 million have been donated to good causes as a result of the charge.
“Previously statistics showed that people in Scotland used more than 800 million new single-use carrier bags every single year – more per head than anywhere else in the UK,” explained Scotland’s Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead.
“I thank Scotland for embracing this policy and showing we’re serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s now becoming second nature to shoppers to reuse their carrier bags and hopefully to think more about our impact on the environment. I am confident that Scotland is going to go from strength to strength in its bid to tidy up our streets and beaches, where litter has been a highly visible problem in the past.”