5p for a bag?

The majority of you will know that as of today, October 5th 2015, In England, consumers will now have to pay 5p per single use carrier bag at large shops, large shops, in this instance, are retailers with over 250 employees. This is worked out on the entirety of the company and not ‘per branch’.

The scheme has been introduced to try and cut the 7.6 billion carrier bags handed out yearly. Equivalent to 140 bags per person and 61,000 tonnes (that’s around the weight of 5083 London double-decker buses!!!)

The government aims to reduce the use of single use carrier bags by 80% in supermarkets and 50% on the high street. In support of the change they have introduced the hashtag #resusebags. The government are keen to insist that this is NOT a ‘shopper tax’ and it will be down to the retailers to decide how the money is spent. The government has expressed they would prefer it to go towards charitable causes and the retailers will be expected to update the government on what they have chosen to do with the extra pennies!

England is the last of the UK to jump on board with the 5p charge for bags. Wales introduced the charge 3 years ago and have seen a drastic 79% decrease in plastic bags being used. Scotland and Ireland followed suit in 2014 and 2013.

There will however be some exemptions to the new 5p charge. This includes:

  • Paper Bags
  • Airport Shops
  • On board Trains, Aeroplanes and Ships
  • Bags containing unwrapped food items such as Raw Meat, Fish or where there is a food safety risk
  • Bags containing live fish
  • Bags containing uncovered blades or prescription medicines
  • Bags containing seeds, bulbs and flowers

To avoid the charge consumers can bring their own bag! This can be any bag they choose as long as they aren’t taking new carrier bags from the shops!

For more information on the new bag scheme go here!

In the marketing world this may be the perfect opportunity to advertise your business! Get your brand seen on our cotton shoppers, glossy bags and jute carriers! We will also be running a special offer in support of the scheme from October the 5th to November 5th 2015!


To receive your FREE MICRO COTTON SHOPPER BAG e-mail sarah@micromarketingltd.com*


*while stocks last