5p plastic bag levy to be extended
Published: 10 Jan 2018

The Government is expected to put forward a consultation to expand the 5p charge for plastic bags to include small businesses.

There is currently an exemption that allows retailers with fewer than 250 employees to provide plastic bags free of charge.

In 2015 the Conservative Government pledged to publish a 25 year plan, the launch of which is expected this week. The plan includes a focus on single-use plastics.

Michael Gove, Environment Secretary, said that he aimed to tackle ''the throwaway culture that plastics encapsulate''. 

The current plastic bag levy on large retailers is believed to have resulted in a 90% decline in carrier bag use, with as many as nine billion fewer plastic bags being used. It is hoped that if this levy is extended to include small businesses this will only reduce the use of single-use plastic bags further.