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Charging for Plastic Bags

UK law on single-use plastic carrier bags applies to all businesses since 21 May.

All businesses in England must charge at least 10 pence (including VAT) for most new single-use carrier bags they supply if they are:

  • new and not previously been used for goods taken away or delivered
  • made of plastic and 70 microns thick or less
  • have handles and an opening that is not sealed

The Law

The law applies to all sellers that supply new single-use carrier bags to allow goods sold to be delivered or taken away. Local authorities may carry out inspections without warning to ensure that the law is being followed, and can impose fines if they find problems.

Keeping Records

Only large retailers (employing 250 or more full-time equivalent employees) are required to record and report the number of single-use carrier bags they sell in England.

Donating the money

The government expects that the money collected from the charge (after deducting reasonable costs) will be passed on to good causes in England to benefit local communities and the environment, although this is not a legal obligation.

For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrier-bag-charges-retailers-responsibilities

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