Carrier Bag Charge to Apply in Large Businesses from Today

From the 5th October all businesses with 250 or more employees will be required to charge 5p for each single-use carrier bag they provide their customers with in England.

Retailers who have less than 250 full time or equivalent employees across their business/es are not required to charge for carrier bags. Convenience retailers who are members of a symbol group or franchise model only need to count the employees in the businesses/stores that they own and run.

Retailers who are required to charge for single-use carrier bags will need to report to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) annually on or before 31st May and keep these records for up to three years.

Included in the reporting requirements to DEFRA are: the number of employees you have, the number of carrier bags you distributed, the amount of money you received from selling carrier bags, any VAT paid on the money received from the sale of carrier bags, what you did with the proceeds from bags, and details of the ‘reasonable costs’ you had to pay to provide bags.

Local Authority inspectors will check that retailers are complying with the law and charging for single-use carrier bags correctly. Failure to comply can lead to a fixed fine of up to £200 or a variable fine of up to £5,000, in addition to other penalties.

The charge has been introduced as part of the government’s policy to reduce waste. Similar carrier bag charges are already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; however businesses of all sizes are included in these schemes.

ACS has produced guidance on the carrier bag charges for England, Scotland and Wales, which can be viewed here:

An ACS poster to display in your store can be downloaded from here:


This entry was posted by Victoria on Mon, 05/10/2015 - 05:12