From tomorrow, Monday 5 October 2015, large shops in England will have to charge five pence for all single use carrier bags they provide. In 2013, the major supermarkets in England gave out over 7.4 billion plastic bags – that’s 133 bags for every person. Small retailers don’t have to charge but can do so on a voluntary basis.
Baroness Jenny Jones who is also a Green member of London Assembly has repeatedly argued that in line with all other UK regions, a cross-party unanimous view of the London Assembly, trade bodies for small retailers, the charge should apply to all retailers, irrespective of their size.
Commenting on the Government's proposals Jenny Jones AM said: "Seven years after England had the power to charge for single use carrier bags and tens of billions of plastic bags later, it is with relief that the Government has finally brought in this desperately needed and overdue charge that all the evidence shows will drastically reduce their use and the environmental mayhem they cause."
Criticising the Government's exemption for small businesses Jenny Jones said: "However, the Government’s exemption for smaller retailers with a voluntary code is exactly the opposite of the universal plastic bag charge they wanted. This 'dogs dinner' policy will mean more headaches and administrative confusion for small businesses".