The fee for plastic carrier bags is set to double from April 2021, with the charge being extended to all shops in England, the Government has announced.
Small retailers – defined as those employing 250 people or fewer – will no longer be exempt from the levy, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
But campaigners argue the fee on plastic bags does not go far enough, accusing the government of “tokenism” as they called for charges to be brought in on all single-use, throwaway items.
Following a public consultation last year, in which the “vast majority” of respondents welcomed the changes, the minimum charge for single use carrier bags will increase to 10p.
To truly step up and face the war on plastic, Government should bring in charges on all single-use, throwaway items.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation.”
“But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener.”
“I hope our pioneering track record on single-use plastics will inspire many more countries to follow suit, so we can take on plastic waste together and implement lasting change.”
The 5p levy on plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015, with the most recent figures showing that the number of single-use bags distributed by large supermarkets has fallen more than 95%.
Mr Eustice said the government has had to “postpone certain plans we had such as bans on plastic stirrers and straws” due to the coronavirus pandemic, which will now come into force in October.
He said: “This carrier bag charge has been a tremendous success – it was introduced in 2015 applying first to the major supermarkets. It will be extended to all retailers from April – this is a policy that has had widespread public support.
“Just introducing that small charge on a plastic bag makes people think twice and as a result supermarkets have seen a 95% reduction in single-use plastic carrier bag use.”
Burgass Bags here in the UK make twisted handled paper bags; and flat tape handle paper bags and grab paper bags . So not only will you be ordering great value, local paper bags you will also be helping the environment.
This post was written by UK Carrier Paper Bag Maker