Shoppers urged to break 'bag habit'
Environmental campaigners are calling on shoppers to make a New Year's resolution and re-use carrier bags.
The Break the Bag Habit campaign said 19 million bags are given out daily and by changing habits a huge amount of waste, litter and danger to wildlife will be reduced in 2014.
A 5p charge on carrier bags in supermarkets and larger stores will come into force in England in October 2015, the Government announced in September.
Wales and Northern Ireland have already introduced the charge and a scheme begins in Scotland in the autumn.
But the Break the Bag Habit campaign said that between now and then more than 12 billion bags would be used across the country and is urging shoppers to switch to re-usable bags.
Andy Cummins, from the Break the Bag Habit campaign, said: "Giving out 19 million bags every day in England is obscene and unnecessary.
"Similar bag charges are already working in Wales and Northern Ireland, dramatically reducing the number of single-use bags distributed and receiving strong support from communities.
"But with the prospect of 638 days before the charge comes in for England, we should all take action and start saying no to carrier bags from today."
The Break The Bag Habit is a coalition of campaign groups, including Surfers Against Sewage, Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Greener Upon Thames.