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UK Government to consult on doubling plastic bag charge

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THE UK Government has announced a consultation is to be launched to explore the possibility of doubling the plastic bag charge in England to 10p.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the current 5p charge could also be extended to all retailers rather than just the big employers.

Although any changes introduced by the Westminster parliament wouldn’t automatically apply in Scotland, the Scottish Government will no doubt be watching events south of the border with interest. In Scotland, all smaller retailers already apply a plastic bag charge, while a deposit return scheme for drinks containers is to be introduced north of the border as part of the government’s environmental measures.

The UK move has been announced as part of a drive to change consumer behaviours and tackle plastic pollution.

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove said, “We are committed to being a global leader in tackling plastic pollution. It blights our seas and land and chokes our wildlife. Thanks to the public’s support, our plastic bag charge has been hugely successful. It has taken 13 billion plastic bags out of circulation in the last two years alone. Today we are building on that success to ensure we leave our environment in a better state than we inherited it.”