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New Carrier Bag Charge to be Introduced in England

A five pence mandatory charge for single use carrier bags will be introduced from Autumn 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced in September. Following the lead of the Welsh Assembly, when they introduced a similar scheme in 2011, proposals are that money raised should be donated to charity.

Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be exempt from the charge.

Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said:

“We have all seen the effects of discarded plastic bags caught in trees and hedges or ending up in rivers where they harm animals.Introducing a small charge for plastic bags will make people think twice before throwing them away.

Year on year, the number of bags issued by retailers has been rising. Without a charge, the problem could escalate out of control and see our environment and animals suffer enormously.”

Further plans have been made to create an incentive for those businesses who choose to introduce biodegradable plastic bags in England, which, provided they can meet the required criteria, could be exempt from the levy.

A new high standard for such carrier bags will be developed with manufacturers, with those meeting that standard, also exempt.

Further information on the charge can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plastic-bag-charge-set-to-benefit-the-environment, but watch this space for further developments.

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