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H&M raises £1m for Unicef through plastic bag levy

25 May 2017 News

A child stands amid the rubble of a town which has been destroyed by conflict in Yemen

H&M UK has raised £1m for Unicef UK through its plastic bag levy, which will be used to help vulnerable children in the midst of life-threatening emergencies.

The fashion chain has donated £1m to Unicef UK’s Children’s Emergency Fund since the 5p plastic bag charge was introduced in 2015.

The introduction of the 5p plastic bag levy was in October 2015, and means that retailers with more than 250 employees must charge for plastic bags. This money is expected to go to good causes. The government estimated that the charge could raise £73m per year for charities, and that over £730m could be raised for good causes over ten years.

Kate Goldman-Toomey, director of partnerships and philanthropy at Unicef UK, said: “At a time when children are facing so many crises around the world from conflicts to food crises in places like Yemen and South Sudan, the donation of £1m from H&M UK has enabled Unicef to carry out vital work to ensure that vulnerable children can survive and thrive. We want to extend a big thank you to H&M UK and its customers for supporting our work.”

The donation of carrier bag charges by H&M to Unicef UK is part of a wider global partnership that since 2004 has raised approximately £1.7m ($22m) for Unicef’s programmes for children.

Tesco trials stopping 5p bag sales

Tesco is launching a ten-week trial in three of its stores where it will no longer sell the 5p bags, and will instead only sell its bag-for-life, which start at 10p.

A Tesco spokesman has said that it will not make a profit from selling its bag for life bags, and will continue making money for charity through its Bags of Help scheme, which is being used to fund thousands of local projects in communities right the UK.

The trial is taking place in three stores in Aberdeen, Dundee and Norwich, to see how customers manage to get on without the bags.

Competitor Sainsbury’s already uses a similar model, with it instead charging 5p for a reusable bag, some of which goes towards replacing the reusable bags and the rest is voluntarily given to charity.

Civil Society Media is hosting its NGO Insight 2017 conference on 28 November 2017. For more information, and to book, click here.


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