Introduction of Plastic Bag Charge in Small Shops Delayed

DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have confirmed that changes to plastic bag charge regulations will now not come into force on 30th April.

Changes to the single use carrier bag charge rules will see the minimum charge for a plastic bag rise from 5p to 10p, and all businesses included within the rules, where previously only those with more than 250 employees have been included.

The changes were previously scheduled to come into force this Friday (30th April), but have since been delayed, to ensure businesses have sufficient time to prepare for the changes. DEFRA will be updating on the new timetable for implementation in due course, ​which we expect to be in the coming weeks.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Small retailers need as much notice and support from DEFRA as possible ahead of the change to enable them to provide advance notice of the change to customers and colleagues, which will reduce the risk of confrontation in store. We welcome the update on the implementation date and look forward to working with DEFRA on communicating the details to our members.

“ACS has long supported the extension of the plastic bag charge to all retailers in England as a way to provide consistency for customers, and as another great way of raising money for local and environmental charities.”

According to DEFRA, since the scheme was introduced for larger businesses in England, the number of bags used in those stores has fallen by around 80%. Businesses of any size already charge for plastic bags in Wales and Scotland.

The amendment to the Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 continues to provide smaller retailers with an exemption from reporting bags issued. Retailers with over 250 employees are required by law to record and report how many bags they sell. 

A poster for retailers to promote their plastic bag charging policy is available here:

This entry was posted by Chris on Tue, 27/04/2021 - 14:19