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10p plastic bag charge to come into force on 21 May - Defra

Charge extended to all businesses in bid to ramp up war on plastic waste.

The single-use carrier bag charge, which has seen a 95% cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets since 2015, will be increased from 5p to 10 and extended to all businesses in England from 21 May to help drive down sales further.

As a result of the carrier bag charge, the average person in England now buys just four single-use carrier bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014. By extending the charge to all retailers, it is expected that the use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70-80% in small and medium-sized businesses.

Small businesses across the country are being urged to prepare themselves for the changes ahead of them coming into force on 21 May. It comes as new research finds the charge is supported overwhelmingly by the public – with 95% of people in England acknowledging the wide-ranging benefits to the environment so far.

A new report published today from charity WRAP finds a shift in attitude towards plastic bags since the charge was first brought in.

Through a survey of over 2,000 adults in England, it was revealed:

Carrier bag use and attitudes report and easily digestable infographics from WRAP here.

Posted on: 07 May 2021

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