Want to introduce a Plastic Bag Charge Scheme?

The NFRN are working with DEFRA and the ACS to promote the charging for carrier bags by independent retailers.

Important Update – Plastic bag charge to be extended to all shops

On 30 August 2018, the government announced plans to extend the plastic bag charge to all shops in England.

Since a 5p charge for plastic bags was first introduced in October 2015 for larger stores, the NFRN has long campaigned that the charge should be extended to cover all businesses.

In a joint press release with DEFRA, NFRN National President Mike Mitchelson said: “We welcome the announcement that the 5p plastic bag levy is likely to be extended to smaller shops. Independent retailers are environmentally friendly and like to play their part in reducing plastic waste so many of our members have already chosen to implement the 5p charge. As a result, they have been delighted to donate the proceeds from the charge to local and worthy good causes.

“The 5p charge has made a huge difference to plastic bag usage and all independent retailers can look forward to playing their part in reducing further waste and raise money for local charities.”

Commenting on the announcement, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We are committed to being a global leader in tackling plastic pollution. It blights our seas and land and chokes our wildlife.

“Thanks to the public’s support, our plastic bag charge has been hugely successful. It has taken 13 billion plastic bags out of circulation in the last two years alone.

“Today we are building on that success to ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”

The Prime Minster has also hinted that the minimum charge could rise to 10p, and is the latest move by the government to crackdown on plastic.

I want to start charging now – what can I do?

While the government finalises plans to roll out the plastic bag charge to all shops, you can introduce a voluntary plastic bag charging scheme for your store in the meantime if you wish. All you need to know can be found below.

Plastic Bag Poster

Retail trade bodies the NFRN and Association of Convenience Stores have launched new materials to help small stores introduce a plastic bag charging scheme following the publication of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan

The joint initiative is designed to make it easier for retailers to charge on a voluntary basis for single-use plastic bags. A poster and other materials have been produced to help retailers to communicate their plastic bag charging policy to consumers, including guidance on how to administer a voluntary charging policy.

Currently 42% of independent retailers already charge for plastic bags and 65% support the introduction of mandatory plastic bag charging in England.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:  “I welcome this step by the Association of Convenience Stores and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents.

“As the Prime Minister said when launching our 25 Year Environment Plan, to help achieve our goal of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste, we will extend the 5p plastic bag charge to all retailers, to further reduce usage, and we’ll be setting out our next steps in due course.”

NFRN National President Linda Sood said “Independent retailers are the cornerstone of their local communities. NFRN members pride themselves on retailing responsibly and want to play a role in ridding their local surroundings of plastic waste. Through the carrier bag levy they recognise they can help protect the environment and raise funds for deserving good causes the length and breadth of the country at the same time.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “There are thousands of retailers that are already charging for single-use plastic bags on a voluntary basis, and the feedback has been extremely positive. Retailers are able to use the funds raised from plastic bag charging to support local causes, whilst also playing their part in reducing the overall number of plastic bags given out.”

Posters and Materials

The poster and other materials will be included within the next edition of The Fed or can be downloaded below:

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