Following in the same footsteps as the rest of the UK as of October 5th 2015, large retailers will be required to charge 5p per plastic carrier bag sold. The new regulation will not only require large retailers to apply these charges but they must also submit annual compliance reports for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Although these regulations only apply to organisations with 250 or more full-time equivalent employees, smaller businesses are also being encouraged to voluntary do so.
The move for this has been welcomed by many as the charge will reduce the sheer amount of bags that end up in landfill every year. To show the effect of this charge you can compare it to the impact the charge had in Wales. Since the introduction of the charge in Wales in 2011, Wales has seen a whopping 71% decrease in the use of plastic bags. In 2014 England used 7.6 Billion plastic bags, now if you forecast the impact in England using similar statistics this could see 5.4 billion less plastic bags being used reducing landfill by over 36,000 tonnes. After costs are taken into account retailers are expected to donate all proceeds from this charge to good causes, again aligning this with the Welsh statistics that could mean up to and over £500 million that could be raised to a charitable effect.
Overall there has been a 57% reduction in the use of bags in Wales, due to a rise in the use of reusable bags and bags for life. With the increase of use in bags for life many charities are using this as an avenue to increase funds, Charities like Breast Cancer Service says their bags for life will definitely help boost funds, therefore not only will the proceeds from the supermarkets go towards charitable causes, but charities selling bags for life will see the benefit also. Follow this link for further info on the Government website