Carrier bag charge: Supermarkets promise 5p levy will fund new dementia centre

Supermarket shoppers now must pay 5p for single-use carrier bags under a new law introduced in England to stem litter and help wildlife. Photo: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire
Supermarket shoppers now must pay 5p for single-use carrier bags under a new law introduced in England to stem litter and help wildlife. Photo: Benjamin Wright/PA Wire
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As shoppers get used to taking their own bags or forking out a 5p levy, bosses at four of the UK’s biggest food store chains have promised the cash will help make medical history.

Asda, Iceland, Morrisons and Waitrose have pledged funds from the new levy on single-use carrier bags to support the construction of a new world-class dementia research centre at UCL in London, with the aim of meeting the G8 Group challenge, following a lead from David Cameron, to find a cure for dementia by 2025.

The £350million project has a shortfall in funding of £100million, and the cash generated by carrier bag sales in food retailers across Britain has the potential to bridge much of that gap.

In addition to committing funds from their own stores, the chief executives of Asda, Iceland, Morrisons and Waitrose are today writing to the CEOs of all other UK food retailers, urging them to lend their support either this year or in any of the next five years.