Plastic bag charges to be extended as Gove vows to tackle 'throwaway culture'

Posted On: 
10th January 2018

The 5p charge on plastic bags will be extended to smaller shops as part of the Government's new 25-year plan for the environment. 

The 5p charge has seen plastic bag use plummet in England since 2015

At the moment shops with under 250 employees are exempt from the charge, which was introduced in England in October 2015. 

The Government said it had contributed to a 90% fall in the use of plastic bags. .

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Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have all instituted their own charges and have seen a similar drop.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday he was "determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastics encapsulate".

The Government will set out its long-term plans for the environment later this week as Theresa May tries to reassert her party's green credentials. 

Mr Gove's department has also said it is looking at proposals from the Environmental Audit Committee for a new 25p 'latte levy' on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste. 

The head of the committee, Labour MP Mary Creagh, said the change could lead to consumers bringing their own cups to buy coffee.

The MPs suggested that money raised from the charge could fund more recycling plants to process plastic-line cups.