Saturday, November 27News That Matters

Single-use plastic bags will cost 10p at all shops in England from 21 May

The 5p charge for single-use plastic bags is going to double to 10p from 21 May, the government has confirmed.

All stores in England will also have to apply the charge – a departure from the previous policy where only retailers with 250 employees or more needed to do so.

The number of single-use plastic bags distributed by large supermarkets has plummeted by 95% since the 5p charge was introduced in England in 2015.

The average shopper now buys just four plastic carrier bags a year, compared with about 140 in 2014.

Last December, a survey conducted for the waste and resources organisation Wrap suggested that 73% of consumers backed the levy.

However, the same research found 26% of people still buy single-use bags at the till.

File photo dated 26/12/18 of shopping being carried in plastic carrier bags.
Image: The average shopper now buys just four plastic carrier bags a year, compared with about in 2014

It is hoped that by extending the charge to all shops, plastic bag usage will plunge by up to 80% in small and medium-sized businesses, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

More on Recycling

Environment minister, Rebecca Pow, hailed the 5p scheme as a “phenomenal success” in driving down sales of “harmful” plastic bags in supermarkets.

She added: “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.

“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.”

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive, James Lowman, said the decision to include smaller shops and businesses was “strongly welcomed”.

Plastic bags in Scotland increased to 10p at the start of April.

The announcement comes days after Co-op said it will remove plastic “bags for life” from sale – as many shoppers are only using them once.

It follows Morrisons’ ban on bags for life in a bid to save thousands of tonnes of plastic.

John Lewis revealed it will launch a trial to remove single-use plastic bags from its branches in Cheltenham, Kingston and Leeds.

Customers can purchase a reusable bag made from 100% recyclable material, costing 50p for a medium size or 75p for a large.

Marija Rompani, director of ethics and sustainability for the John Lewis Partnership, said: “It has become the norm to take our own bags when we go food shopping but we have a different mindset when shopping for clothes, beauty and home products.

“We expect our customers will be supportive of this change and will be listening to their feedback.”

The Daily Climate Show

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

Hosted by Anna Jones, it will follow Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

The show will also highlight solutions to the crisis and show how small changes can make a big difference.