Bag charge brings benefits

Welsh Environment Minister John Griffiths has been meeting children and parents in Cardiff who are benefitting from Wales’s 5p carrier bag charge, which came in last October. Morrisons supermarket is donating the money raised through the tax in its stores to Save the Children’s Families and Schools Together (FAST) project, which aims to improve relationships between schools, families and local communities to ensure children from more deprived areas do well in school. Since the inception of the tax, Morrisons has passed on £135,000 to the cause.

Environment Minister, John Griffiths, visited the Save the Children Families and Schools Together (FAST) education project at Pentrebane Primary School in FairwaterMr Griffiths visited Pentrebane Primary School in the Fairwater district Cardiff, to learn more about how the scheme is helping families. The eight-week, voluntary programme takes place outside school hours, and is open to all families with young children in the area. It allows parents and their children to jointly participate in activities such as reading, singing, and cooking, which seek to build confidence in both the children and their parents.

Speaking about his visit, Environment Minister, John Griffiths said: “I feel privileged to have met families who have participated and more importantly benefitted from the FAST programme and to hear how positive they are about the programme.

“I congratulate Morrisons on their decision to use the money resulting from Wales’s single use carrier bag charge to support such a worthwhile cause.

“Of course the real purpose of our charge is to dramatically reduce carrier bag use in Wales, however it is inevitable that bags will sometimes be needed.

“Retailers are passing money from the bag charge onto environmental and good causes and it is really heartening to see how the proceeds from the charge are starting to directly benefit Welsh people and communities.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson told Resource that figures on the use of carrier bags would be available from May.