Plastic bag charge in Scotland to double to 10p

The move is expected to come into effect from 1st April

The cost of single-use plastic carrier bags in Scotland is set to double to 10p from April this year.

The 5p charge was initially introduced in October 2014, which helped reduce the use of plastic bags by 80% by the following year.

According to the Scottish Government, around 800 million single-use carrier bags were issued every year in Scotland prior to the charge.

Other measures to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics include banning the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds, with further plans to ban a number of single-use items that are currently being consulted on.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Thanks to the people of Scotland, the introduction of the charge has been successful in reducing the amount of single-use carrier bags in circulation. It has also made us think about the small steps we can all take to help the environment.

“While the 5p bag charge was suitable when it was first introduced, it is important that pricing is updated to ensure that the charge continues to be a factor in making people think twice about using a single-use carrier bag. The Scottish Government is committed to building back a greener society so by further reducing our reliance on single use items, we are taking positive steps to limit our impact on the climate and the environment.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Government is looking into creating an exemption for retailers from charging for single-use carrier bags for certain deliveries and collections.

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