As of today, anyone using a single-use carrier bag from a retailer must pay five new pence for the privilege. The main aim is to help protect the environment by cutting the number of carrier bags we all use.
Anyone who has been shopping in a supermarket with me for sometime will know that I can be a bit like the ‘bag police’ ensuring that we don’t use too many bags, and preferably use our own supply.
It’s not just plastic bags
Many people think that the levy is charged only for plastic bags, but this is not the case.
Single use carrier bags can be made from:
- plant based material such as starch
As paper bags and other alternatives to plastic bags can be equally damaging to the environment, from 8 April 2013 the carrier bag levy will apply to all single use carrier bags – not just plastic bags.
Northern Ireland is following Wales in the introduction of this charge, and perhaps the rest of the United Kingdom will follow.