Comment: One month in and charge has got a result

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IT is great to hear reports today of how the plastic bag charge is succeeding in changing shoppers’ behaviour.

Retailers like Morrisons are reporting an 80 per cent drop in the number of bags issued as the message gets through.

The charge wasn’t introduced without controversy but any lingering protests seem to have pretty quickly died out.

After all 5p isn’t exactly going to break the bank in an emergency and certainly isn’t going to prevent a purchase.

But a charge of any kind is enough to make everyone stop and think.

That certainly seems to be the case from today’s straw poll and it is fantastic to see.

Scotland had used more carrier bags per person than in England, Wales or Northern Ireland so it was pretty clear something needed to be done.

We could not continue with countless bags ending up in landfill sites or littering pavements and parks.

Then there were the resources that are wasted in producing the bags in the first place – carriers which before the charge may have been destined to be used only once.

No-one likes paying for something which used to be free and this newspaper would normally be the first to protest at such a move.

But it is hard to argue with the positive results which we are reporting today.

This legislation has managed to quickly bring about a real change in behaviour which is good for the environment and seems to have few disadvantages.

One month in and the bag charge has produced real results beyond what even the most passionate campaigners could have hoped.

Remembering to grab your bags on your way to the shops is now as normal as picking up your purse or wallet. Big results for small change.