Packaging firm blames plastic bag charge for putting it out of business

The 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in England last October Credit: PA

A packaging firm is blaming England's introduction of the 5p charge for plastic carrier bags for driving it out of business.

Forty workers have lost their jobs at Nelson Packaging's factory in Lancashire after the company went into administration.

Michael Flynn, the company's managing director, said the move was a result "primarily of the English bag legislation and the corresponding impact on customer and retailer demand for plastic carrier bags".

The 5p charge for plastic bags was introduced in England in October last year 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 last year said.

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 carrier bags - 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.