UK carrier bag charge to be doubled and extended to smaller shops
The current 5p charge will be doubled and will apply at all shops, not just large retailers, under the measures aimed at curbing plastic consumption, under plans set out by UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
An estimated 3.6 billion single-use bags are supplied annually by smaller retailers which are exempt from the current 5p bag levy.
Trade bodies representing around 40,000 small retailers have already launched a voluntarily approach to a 5p charge, but this accounts for less than one-fifth of England's estimated 253,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.
The changes, which could come into effect in January 2020, are contained in a consultation which has been launched by the government. ■