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Plastic bag fee doubles to 10p and extended to all shops in England

The price of a plastic bag from shops will go up to 10p from next year (PA)

2 min read

The fee to use a plastic carrier bag will double to 10p and be extended to all shops in England, the Government has announced.

Currently shoppers are charged 5p by retailers for a bag, but small firms with fewer than 250 employees are exempt from the policy aimed at reducing plastic waste.

But after a public consultation last year, where the "vast majority" of respondents welcomed an increase in the cost, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will implement them from April next year. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation.

"But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener.

"I hope our pioneering track record on single-use plastics will inspire many more countries to follow suit, so we can take on plastic waste together and implement lasting change.”

Figures show since the introduction of the plastic bag levy in England in 2015 the number of single-use bags distributed by large supermarkets has fallen more than 95%.

Campaigners have welcomed the move, but called for further moves to reduce plastic pollution.

Greenpeace said carriers bag were only "one part of the problem”, urging ministers to increase costs for companies using single-use packaging, and countryside charity CPRE said action should be taken on all single-use items, such as takeaway cups and forks.

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