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Government

Plastic bag fee to increase to 10p from April

The current levy of 5p for a plastic bag only applies to retailers who employ 250 or more people

All retailers, regardless of how many people they employ, will be legally required to charge customers 10p for a single use plastic carrier bag from 1 April 2021.

The current levy of 5p for a plastic bag only applies to retailers who employ 250 or more people.

The new legislation is part of the government’s war on plastic which was first introduced in 2015, since then the levy has prevented billions of plastic bags being sold and ending up in the ocean and environment.

The government will also introduce a new tax on plastic packaging which does not meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content from April 2022, subject to consultation, to encourage greater use of recycled plastic to tackle the problem of plastic waste and protect the environment.

George Eustice, environment secretary, previously said: “As a result of the carrier bag charge, the average person in England now buys just four bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014.

“By extending the charge to all retailers, ministers want to see bag usage cut significantly in small shops as well, with customers incentivised to use long-life bags made from more sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials.”

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