This week's UK news: 15 December 2015
15 December 2015

Coming to the UK? Remember your shopping bag

In England shoppers have been charged a small amount for carrier bags since the law changed in October. One supermarket says it is now providing 80 per cent fewer carrier bags as a result. 

The Government wanted to cut waste by encouraging people not to expect free carrier bags every time they went shopping. So big shops must now charge five pence for every bag. Profits are given to charity.

Wales and Scotland have been charging for carrier bags for some time and shops there have seen a big drop in the numbers used. 



Andrew Lloyd-Webber has new musical hit

UK composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber is famous for musicals such as Cats, Starlight Express, and the Phantom of the Opera. 

Now he has become the first Briton to produce and compose an original musical to open on Broadway in New York. He says he had "almost forgotten what it was like to have a hit". 

The musical, School of Rock, is about a primary school teacher who forms a band with his pupils. There are lots of children in the American production, and the New York Times says the show is about fun. It will open at the London Palladium next year. 


Official figures tell us about UK lifestyle

UK habits are changing, according to new Government data. The Office for National Statistics looks at what people in 5,000 homes spend every year, and what they spend it on.

It shows that we now spend 60 per cent more on coffee than tea every year - in 2001 it was the same. In most of the UK we spend much more on wine than beer - but not in Yorkshire and the North East. We spend GBP 1.90 a week on chocolate, compared with GBP 2.40 on chicken and GBP 1.70 on milk. And we spend GBP 3.50 a week on sweets and icecream - the same as we spend on fresh fruit.

And we found out that men now spend GBP26 a week on underwear, up from GBP 20.80. 


Travel problems in Scotland

A major bridge in Scotland is closed for repairs. The Forth Road Bridge carries one of Scotland's busiest roads, and it will not be open again until 2016. This is because a 20mm crack in the steelwork under the road was found during a routine check. Extra ferries and other services have been provided to help ease travel problems

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