Plastic Bag Charge to be extended to all retailers in 2020

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

Since 2015, retailers with more than 250 employees have been charging 5p for plastic bags purchased in store. Defra is now proposing to extend the charge to all retailers in January 2020, and double it to 10p.

The announcement is a significant victory for the NFRN, who has been campaigning to extend the scheme since its introduction. The new regulation will level the playing field between small and large retailers. It will also give NFRN members the opportunity to donate the proceeds of the charge to local charities. However, we believe that a two-step approach would be wiser, and we have urged the government to publish a first assessment of the extension of the charge before increasing it.

Defra has submitted its proposals to a public consultation, which closed in February. The NFRN will monitor the outcome of the consultation and take appropriate action in due course.

Commenting, NFRN National President Mike Mitchelson said: “Independent retailers are environmentally friendly and like to play their part in reducing plastic waste. We are looking forward to working with Defra to inform our members and customers.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “[Since 2015] we have taken over 15 billion plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to do even more to protect our precious planet and [this] announcement will accelerate further behaviour change and build on the success of the existing charge.”

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

On 28 March 2018, retail trade bodies the NFRN and Association of Convenience Stores 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.

The poster and materials can be downloaded below:

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