The introduction of a 5p charge on plastic bags across England last week was a triumph for environmentalists.
But it also represented a huge success for one individual in particular.
Freelance filmmaker Rebecca Hosking, 42, was the inspiration behind the campaign when she single-handedly managed to convince the 43 shopkeepers of the small Devon town of Modbury to ban plastic bags in 2007.
The town became the first in Europe to become officially plastic bag free after local resident Rebecca held a public showing of her film about the impact of plastic waste on the Pacific island of Midway.
Hundreds of people across Britain contacted Rebecca asking how to do the same, with towns and cities nationwide vowing to follow Modbury’s lead and begin introducing their own bans.
New laws were passed in Wales in 2011, followed by Scotland in 2013 and Northern Ireland last year. England finally announced it would do the same in the Queen’s Speech in December.
The scheme is now expected to cut carrier bag usage by up to 80 percent in supermarkets, significantly reducing the 17 billion plastic bags handed out each year and raising millions for environmental causes.