Plastic bag charge to be extended to small shops in England

The 5p charge for plastic bags in larger retailers in England could be extended to cover nearly all retailers, as part of government plans to tackle “throwaway culture”

Shops with fewer than 250 employees are currently exempt from the charge, however, the government is set to unveil its 25-year environment plan this week, which which outline the charge being extended to small shops.

The 5p charge on single-use plastic bags was introduced in October 2015. The government states that since implementing the charge in England it has contributed to a drop of nearly 90 per cent in their usage.

Theresa May and Michael Gove reportedly told the cabinet on Tuesday that they are "determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastics encapsulate".

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores said, “The 5p carrier bag charge is an effective way of significantly reducing the number of bags in circulation whilst also providing retailers with a way of raising money for local charities. We have long campaigned for the charge to be extended to all retailers in England, as is already the case in Scotland and Wales, and would welcome steps to make the charge universal.”

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