Plastic Bag Charge Now In England

October 5th 2015 is the day England eventually joined the ‘worldwide army’ against plastic bags.

Oct 29th, 2015

The 5p minimum charge which came into effect in England under new legislation sees them join a world army in the fight to massively reduce our usage on plastic bags.  Its worth noting the term ‘minimum charge’, as depending on the bag and the retailers environmental stance on plastic bags both instore & online, they can charge more if they wish to do so and the expectation is just that as we move forward to reduce the environmental impact caused by plastic bags.

England finally complete the UK as the fourth nation to implement the charge. Scotland’s use of plastic bags previously ran at approx 750 million per year prior to the charge coming into effect on October 2014, and have now seen an 80% reduction in usage as reported through retailers. England’s annual usage has been estimated as high as 8 billion bags per year. Usage in Ireland reduced 75% following the charge being introduced in 2002 and Wales seen an 80% reduction since their charge was applied in 2011.

It is worth noting, that unlike the rest of the UK, England’s bag charge will only apply to that of companies with employees of 250+, therefore one can only assume that this is the first step in what could well lead to a national compulsory charge regardless of where you shop as the government is urging smaller businesses more and more to adopt this charge in the fight against environmental damage.

How can you avoid the charge?

The only way to avoid racking up a multitude of 5p charges is to invest in a proper bag-for-life. One that will not only outlast thousands of plastic bags, but will serve many other purposes and with the embedded antibacterial agent, a big-fat-bag is a true long term sustainable unique alternative. 

It’s not a question of of the 5p being ‘too much?’, it perhaps should be, is it ‘too late?’.

main image (click to enlarge)
main image (click to enlarge)

The Grocery Box Co Ltd