A Liberal Democrat report from 2004 estimated that UK supermarkets give out 17
billion plastic bags annually, and encouraging reuse of disposable plastic bags is another area addressed in the motion. Evidence from abroad on the success of plastic bag taxes is mixed, so the motion instead proposes a deposit scheme to tackle plastic bag use. Charging consumers at the point of sale would discourage unnecessary plastic bag use, while a deposit to be reclaimed would encourage the re-use of bags where they had been paid for.
I have recently been to a country where they have been rather more radical. They have actually banned plastic bags altogether. It's for tidiness reasons rather than anything else, but it does seem to work. The country? Rwanda. The women tend to carry things on their heads, which might be a little much for the good burghers of Chipping Sodbury, but if you go to a supermarket by car why do you need bags when you can just place things in your boot? Also, you can take your own bags with you if you are not going by car. So, apart from the fact that as a rule I don't like banning things, why shouldn't we ban plastic bags?