co-op bag one use

Lancashire manufacturer Nelson Packaging has gone into administration blaming the impact of the 5p plastic bag charge as the primary cause.

As many as 40 staff are thought to have lost their jobs, with fierce overseas competition also cited by the company as a factor in its closure.

Nelson Packaging is part of the Warrington-based Intelipac group, which supplies retailers including Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer.

Nelson’s MD Michael Flynn blamed the closure of the plant on the 5p plastic bag charge brought in on 5 October last year.

“Unfortunately Nelson Packaging had to enter into administration last week,” he said. “This was an outcome primarily of the English bag legislation and the corresponding impact on customer and retailer demand for plastic carrier bags.

“Added to aggressive overseas competition, this ultimately proved too devastating for the ongoing viability of the business, despite the continued efforts of the loyal workforce.”

The Co-operative Group, one of Nelson’s major retail customers, said the demise of the company had come as a complete surprise.

“The Co-op has been buying bags from Nelson Packaging and we were looking forward to continuing our relationship,” a spokesman said.

“Our representatives were at the factory only a few weeks ago when it seemed as busy as ever.”

The plastic bag charge applies to retailers with 250 or more full-time employees and aims to reduce the waste and environmental devastation that discarded bags cause.

It was introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, before coming in across England last autumn.

In 2014, the government said the major supermarkets in England gave away 7.64 billion single-use plastic bags - 133 for each person.