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Plastic bag charge to double to 10p in all shops in England

Plastic bag charge to double to 10p in all shops in England
07.05.2021
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The single-use carrier bag charge will rise from 5p to 10p and be extended to all businesses in England from 21 May.

The government said all stores, including corner shops, will now have to apply the charge from that date.

The 5p levy on plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015. Since then their use has fallen by over 95%.

The average person in England now buys just four single-use carrier bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014.

“The introduction of the 5p charge has been a phenomenal success,” said Environment Minister Rebecca Pow.

“We know we must go further to protect our natural environment and oceans, which is why we are now extending this charge to all businesses,” said Ms Pow.

“Over the next couple of weeks I urge all retailers of all sizes to make sure they are ready for the changes, as we work together to build back greener and strengthen our world-leading action to combat the scourge of plastic waste.”

By extending the charge to all retailers, the government hopes the use of single-use carrier bags will fall by 70-80% in small and medium-sized businesses.

In recent years, all supermarkets have tried to cut plastics use.

Waitrose is currently trialling the removal of its 10p bags for life from several of its stores.

Sainsbury’s has said its bags for life cost 20p to encourage customers to re-use them and are made from 100% recycled plastic.

Tesco increased the price of its bags for life to 20p in September 2020 and doesn’t sell single-use bags.

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