5p Plastic Bag Charge Could Be Extended to All Shops

Isabel Hamilton
10th January 2018, 5:00 PM
  • Charge is currently for shops with more than 250 employees
  • Plan to tackle ‘throwaway culture’
  • Part of a 25 year Environmental Plan

Smaller shops could be forced to charge for plastic bags as part of an Environmental Plan. Image: PA

The current 5p charge for a plastic carrier bag will be extended to cover all shops.

Currently, shops with less than 250 employees do not have to charge customers for using a plastic carrier bag, but it is expected that this will be scrapped so the charge will apply to all shops.

This is part of a government plan to tackle Britain’s throwaway culture, including adding a ‘Latte Levy’ for disposable coffee cups.

The 25-year long Environmental Plan, which will give further details into how the charge will be applied, will be published on Thursday.

Theresa May said she wants her Government to make a stand against Britain’s prolific use of natural resources, which she briefed her Cabinet about the plan.

Environmental groups, such as the zero waste movement, have been pushing for the government to take a stronger stance on this issue.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents, NFRN, welcomed the proposal.

Linda Sood, the NFRN President, said, “Our members have always been baffled by the fact that they were excluded from the requirements.

“Extending the levy is good news as it will bring an end to customer confusion, while helping the NFRN members cut costs, play their part in reducing waste, and raising money for local worthy charities.

Although you might have to pay for a plastic bag, extra card charges in all shops will be banned from this Saturday.

On Tuesday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove revealed that since the plastic bag charge was introduced in October 2015, there has been a 90% reduction in the usage of the bags.

Gove said, “The Government is determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastic encapsulate”, and the plan would set out details on how to reduce demand for them.

The 25-year plan will aim to “send a strong message to the public about the Government’s commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited.”, said May.

Another part of the plan will include planting 50 million trees along the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Hull.

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