The UK government has announced that the charge for single-use carrier bags will be extended to all retailers and doubled to 10 pence from April 2021 to “further protect our oceans from plastic waste”.
Introduced in 2015, the 5 pence plastic bag charge has led to a 95 percent cut in plastic bag sales across major supermarkets, according to the most recent research. The levy currently only applies to retailers employing over 250 people.
The new measures mark the government’s latest effort to clamp down on plastic pollution.
“We have all seen the devastating impact plastic bags have on the oceans and on precious marine wildlife, which is why we are taking bold and ambitious action to tackle this issue head on,” environment secretary George Eustice said in a statement.
“The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener.
“I hope our pioneering track record on single-use plastics will inspire many more countries to follow suit, so we can take on plastic waste together and implement lasting change.”
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