A MANDATORY 5p charge for plastic bag comes into force in England today (Monday) – and is set to generate more than £70 million per year for good causes.
Supermarkets across the country plan to put profits from the levy to good use by ensuring it benefits charities and good causes.
Shops with 250, or more, employees will be required to charge 5p per single use bag – reports suggest that a number of small shops will also introduce a fee for carrier bags.
The levy is being introduced with the aim of reducing the 61,000 tonnes of waste generated by discarded carriers each year.
Since being introduced in 2011, the levy on plastic bags in Wales has raised £22 million for good causes.
Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are all involved and will be raising funds for various charities.
Klara Kozlov, head of corporate clients at the charities aid foundation, said: “It is great to see that retailers in England look set to follow the lead of supermarkets and big shops in Wales and Scotland.
“By using this new levy, supermarkets can support a wide range of good causes from local community groups to big environmental charities.
“Evidence suggests that the introduction of a plastic bag charge in England will not only lead to a significant reduction in carrier bags being issued, but it will do a huge amount to help charities carry out their important work.”
“It can be a source of reassurance for shoppers that money they pay for carrier bags will be going to worthy causes, many of which will bring a direct benefit to them and their neighbourhoods.
“We have seen a huge appetite among retailers for ensuring that money raised by the levy gets spent in the most effective way and has the best possible impact.
“With upwards of £70 million expected to be raised for charities by the levy every year, this is likely to have a real and noticeable benefit for the causes shoppers care about.”