Single-use carrier bag charge to increase to 10p at ‘all shops’
on May 21, 2021
The single-use carrier bag charge is set to be increased to 10p in all businesses in England from today.
All stores, including corner shops, will now have to apply the charge.
Since the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015, plastic bags use has fallen by over 95%.
“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.”
“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.”
Friends of the Earth welcomed the move and its applicastion to all shops – previously, the 5p levy did not apply to smaller businesses such as convenience stores and off licences.
The environmental campaign group is however calling for more action, insisting the government extend the charge to paper carrier bags, and introducing new rules to stem the growing problem of ‘bags for life’.
Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner, Camilla Zerr, said: “It seems that many plastic ‘bags for life’ are being used just once, and not re-used for the bag’s lifetime, as is their purpose. So while the increased charge for single-use bags should see good results, it won’t fix bigger problems,” adding that “targets that are legally binding are now needed, and urgently. It’s these combined changes that will stop wasteful plastic in the first place.”