Every single shop in England to double the price of plastic bags this month
Anniversary of 5p carrier charge for plastic bags
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Wales was the first country to introduce a plastic bag charge of 5p for shoppers in 2011, followed by Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England. Now, the price of plastic bags in England will double to 10p and will apply to every single retailer.
The price of single-use plastic bags will double for all shops in England this month.
From 21 May, shoppers will have to pay 10p instead of 5p if they want to buy a plastic bag for their shopping.
This rule will not only apply to giant supermarkets, but also to corner shops, small clothing boutiques, grocery stores, butchers, and more.
Currently, the 5p plastic bag charge in England applies only to retailers with more than 250 staff, but this will soon change.
Supermarkets in England started to charge 50p for plastic bags in 2015, and it has resulted in the average person in the country buying only four plastic bags a year since.
This is a huge reduction from the average person buying 140 bags a year before the change was implemented, in 2014.
This meant the number of single-use plastic bags issued by stores decreased by more than 95 percent.
However, the Government hopes that the new 10p charge will cut plastic bag use by a further 80 percent within three years.
Over the next ten years, the benefits of a 10p plastic bag charge are set to be fantastic.
It could result in an overall benefit of over £780million to the UK economy and save up to £60million in litter clean-up costs.
The scheme could also lead to carbon savings of £13million.
Ninan Schrank, Senior Plastics Campaigner at Greenpeace, commented on Britons’ plastic bag use, saying: “Carrier bag sales are falling year on year and putting the price back to 10p should further discourage their use.”
However, Nina warned thicker plastic “bags for life” are still often being used and British shops need to tackle this issue too.
She said: “The UK uses more than a billion and a half heavy-duty bags for life a year, so to make sure the gains made on carrier bags aren’t lost we also need to phase out bags for life.”
The Co-op has already announced it will get rid of its plastic bags for life, making them unavailable in stores for customers to buy.
The company will also scrap its single-use carrier bags and replace them with compostable bags, which will also cost 10p.
Co-op said it is banning the sale of its bags for life because customers typically use them only once, resulting in increased plastic pollution.
Morrisons is another supermarket that wants to cut down on plastic use.
The food retailer has scrapped all plastic bags from shops, replacing them with paper bags.
These paper bags cost 30p and are reusable, recyclable, and water resistant.
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