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Single-Use Carrier Bag Charge Extension

  • Published on February 18, 2021
This is doubling the charge on single-use plastic bags from 5p to 10p. The mandatory obligation for businesses to charge is being extended to all businesses (was previously only businesses with over 250 employees). The 5p charge was effective in reducing the use of single-use carrier bags by over 95% in the main supermarkets. However, in 2018, it was estimated that 3.2 billion single-use carrier bags were circulated by micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; airport retailers; and civil and voluntary organisations. Expanding the scope of the mandatory charge will further reduce the use of single-use plastic carrier bags. In Scotland, regulations were laid in January 2021 to increase the minimum charge for single use carrier bags in Scotland from 5p to 10p from 1 April 2021, subject to the approval of parliament.

A single-use plastic bag charge has been in place in England since 2015. In May 2021, it was increased from 5p to 10p and extended to all businesses (previously only businesses with over 250 employees were obligated to charge). This charge encourages people to reuse bags, reducing the consumption, and therefore production, of new single-use plastic carrier bags. 

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