The price of the plastic carry bag doubles from 5 to 10 pence as it is extended to all stores in England Business News

The charge for plastic bags has been doubled to 10p and extended to all stores in England to reduce plastic waste.

By extending the levy to all retailers, it is hoped that the use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70-80% in small and medium-sized businesses.

The change, which took effect on Friday, is expected to boost the UK economy by nearly £ 300million over the next 10 years, according to the government.

Since the introduction of the 5 pence tax in 2015, there has been a 95% drop in sales of plastic bags in major supermarkets.

Before the policy was introduced, the average household used around 140 single-use plastic bags per year, but that number has now dropped to just four.

It has also raised nearly £ 180million for good causes. Last year, of the £ 9.2million reported, around 30 percent went to charities, volunteering, the environment and health. During that time, 49 percent went to causes chosen by customers or staff, and 21 percent went to a combination of good causes.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Everyone wants to play their part in reducing the scourge of plastic waste which is destroying our environment and our oceans. The 5p bag charge was a huge success, but there is more to it.

“From today we will increase the charge to 10 pence and extend it to all businesses. This will support the ambitious action we have already taken in our fight against plastic as we rebuild in a greener way.

“We have banned the supply of plastic straws, agitators and cotton swabs, we have banned microbeads in personal care products, and we are consulting on a new deposit system for beverage containers.”

Helen Bird, head of strategic engagement at the charity WRAP, said: “The introduction of fees had a significant influence on reducing the number of bags purchased in stores. I have no doubts that the increase to 10p and the extension to all stores will continue this decrease.

“However, there are reports of an increase in purchases of so-called ‘life bags’, probably used only once. To truly benefit the planet, bags, regardless of their material, must be reused multiple times. Once worn out, they can be recycled or, in the case of “life bags”, replaced free of charge by supermarkets. “

However, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) has calculated that the increase in the rate will cost consumers £ 1.03 billion over the next decade, due to the hidden costs caused by the increased use of paper bags and VAT paid on fees.

Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager at TPA, said: “Although the fees have helped reduce the use of carry bags, it is still the buyers who pay the price.

“Passing plastic bags will bring many benefits, but politicians cannot claim that it did not increase the cost of living for struggling households.

“The shift to online shopping during the pandemic may do more to reduce the use of carry bags than this new 10p charge.”

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This notice was published: 2021-05-21 06:05:24