Plastic bag charge blamed as packaging firm enters into administration


A packaging firm has gone out of business, blaming the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags in England.

Forty workers have lost their jobs at Nelson Packaging's factory in Lancashire.

Managing director Michael Flynn said: "Unfortunately Nelson Packaging had to enter into administration. This was an outcome primarily of the English bag legislation and the corresponding impact on customer and retailer demand for plastic carrier bags.

"Added to aggressive overseas competition this ultimately proved too devastating for the ongoing viability of the business, despite the continued efforts of the loyal workforce."

The 5p charge for bags was introduced in England last October following similar moves in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The number of single-use carrier bags handed out by shops in Wales fell by 71% since charges were introduced in 2011, a report said last year.

Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced their charges in 2014 and 2013 and have also seen huge drops in usage.

The number of plastic bags handed out in Scottish stores was reduced by 80% - the equivalent of 650 million carriers - in the first year of the 5p charge.

In Northern Ireland there was a 42.6% reduction in 2014 following a previous drop of 71%, after charges were introduced.