Local Shops Welcome Audit Committee Recommendations on Carrier Bags

ACS has welcomed calls from the Environmental Audit Committee to introduce carrier bag charging in England for all businesses.

In a report due to be published on Thursday, the Committee will recommend that any charge brought in for England should mirror that which is already in place for Wales, as it is simple and clear for customers. This would mean that a charging scheme would be introduced for all businesses in England, with proceeds from the charge going to charitable causes.

The report states that “the charge scheme that the Government is proposing in England, with additional exemptions for small retailers and paper and biodegradable bags, would be too complex, unnecessarily confusing for shoppers, and less effective than the Welsh scheme. The proposed 5p charge should apply to all bag types and all retailers.”

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “Retailers in Wales have seen significant benefits from the levy that has been in place since 2011, both through saving money and being able to play a greater part in their community. We urge the Government to listen to the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee and ensure that convenience stores are not left out of the carrier bag charge.”

In a submission to DEFRA’s call for evidence on single-use plastic bag charging in December 2013, ACS called for small shops not to be excluded from the measure.

The Government’s initial announcement on the levy suggested that it would be introduced in England from autumn 2015, but that businesses with fewer than 250 employees would be excluded from the charge.

This entry was posted by Chris on Thu, 06/02/2014 - 09:00