Plastic bags in England to increase from 5p to 10p today

Carrier bags will cost 10p from May 21. Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty ImagesCarrier bags will cost 10p from May 21. Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images
Carrier bags will cost 10p from May 21. Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images
ALL SINGLE-use carrier bags from shops will cost 10p from today.

The plastic bag charge will rise from 5p to 10p and be extended to all businesses in England.

Government said all stores, including corner shops, will now have to apply the charge from that date.

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Since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015 plastic bag use has dropped by more than 95 per cent.

It is thought the average person in England now buys four single-use carrier bags a year from the major supermarkets, a significant drop compared to 140 in 2014.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: ‘The introduction of the 5p charge has been a phenomenal success.’

Government hopes the use of single-use carrier bags will fall by up to 80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses by extending the scheme.

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‘We know we must go further to protect our natural environment and oceans, which is why we are now extending this charge to all businesses,’ Ms Pow added.

‘Over the next couple of weeks I urge all retailers of all sizes to make sure they are ready for the changes, as we work together to build back greener and strengthen our world-leading action to combat the scourge of plastic waste.’

John Lewis said it was trialling the removal of single-use bags from its Cheltenham, Kingston and Leeds stores from May 21.

Customers will be asked to bring their own bags or buy a reusable bag made from 100 per cent recyclable material costing 50p for a medium size and 75p for a large size.

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