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Plastic Bag Charges

Plastic Bag Charges

It is not uncommon for places such as chippes or smaller supermarkets to charge customers a couple of pence for their plastic bag, whether it’s to cover the cost to the business; or as a way of encouraging people to re-use bags from home.


However, as of October 5th many large retailers (any with over 250 employees) will be implementing a 5p plastic bag charge. This is part of a government scheme to protect the environment, including high street favourite supermarkets such as Tescos, Sainsburys & Asda.




Will plastic bags for loose goods be charged?

Plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables are exempt from this new charge in England.

The same is true for uncooked meat and fish, prescription medication, takeaway food, unwrapped blades, and even live aquatic animals in water.



How is England’s law different from the one in Wales?

Wales has had a four-year head start on England – and by the looks of things, it does get easier with time.

Their law specifically applies to “single-use carrier bags”, irrespective of whether they are made of plastic or paper.



How will my 5p be spent?

Retailers do not have to pass the proceeds on to the Government, as it is not actually a tax.

However, it is expected the money generated will go to good causes – and it’s estimated up to £730m could be raised all in all.