Plastic carrier bag cost to double to 10p in all shops from May 21
The cost of a single-use carrier bag is to double this month.
Plastic bags bought from shops will increase in price from 5p to 10p from May 21.
All stores, including small corner shops and independent retailers, will have to make the change in a fortnight.
Retailers who employ more than 250 staff will also be obliged to keep records and report carrier bag use direct to the government.
The initial 5p levy for plastic bags was first introduced in 2015 as part of nationwide efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste being generated.
It was hailed a huge success in curbing the amount of single-use carriers purchased by households while also prompting more shoppers to begin taking reuseable bags with them when going out shopping.
Research suggests that as a result of the carrier bag charge, the average person in England now buys just four single-use carrier bags a year from main supermarkets. This is compared to 140 in 2014.
By extending the charge to all retailers, the Government expects that the use of single-use carrier bags could decrease by 70-80% in small and medium-sized businesses.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The introduction of the 5p charge has been a phenomenal success, driving down sales of harmful plastic bags in supermarkets by a remarkable 95%.
"We know we must go further to protect our natural environment and oceans, which is why we are now extending this charge to all businesses. Over the next couple of weeks I urge all retailers of all sizes to make sure they are ready for the changes, as we work together to build back greener and strengthen our world-leading action to combat the scourge of plastic waste.”
When the new charge is bought into force in a fortnight's time there will continue to not to be a charge for bags that are solely used for items such as uncooked fish, meat or poultry products.
Supermarket Morrisons has already returned this month to asking customers to bring in their own refillable containers where they can to take home products from its fish, meat and deli counters, a policy it had put on hold during the pandemic.
It's not the only supermarket working to further cut plastic waste.
Last week the Co-Op announced it was to stop selling Bags for Life in its stores, replacing them with 10p compostable bags instead whilst Asda has once again removed the option to have online grocery orders packaged in single-use carriers. The 40p extra was brought back in during the pandemic to aid the delivery of goods to those shielding, but the store said it was removing the option from all online bookings from this month.
Tesco also made a similar move earlier in April to remove plastic tray liners from its crates when delivering food shopping.