Plastic bag charge doubled in all shops in England

24 May 2021

The single-use carrier bag charge rose from 5p to 10p and was extended to all businesses in England on 21 May.

The government said all stores, including corner shops, will now have to apply the charge.

The 5p levy on plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015. Since then, plastic bag use has fallen by over 95%. The average person in England now buys just four single-use carrier bags a year from main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014.

By extending the charge to all retailers, the government hopes the use of single-use carrier bags will fall by 70% or 80% in small and medium-sized businesses.

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

'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.

'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.'

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