5p for plastic bags from supermarkets, as of today

5 October 2015

tesco bag We've written about it for months and months, but you still might have missed the news because you weren't paying attention - today is the day when you have to pay 5p for a carrier bag down the shops.

This is an environmental move and all shops will have to do it. Some might not, but all the big supermarkets will definitely be doing it, that's if they're not doing it already.

This 5p tax is already a thing in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and now England has caught up. You'll have to buy a bag-for-life or start using the 5,000 carrier bags you've got stuffed under the sink.

It looks like this ruling works though. In Wales, the average person uses 2 carrier bags per month, while in England, 12 are used by the average person in a month. You may have noticed that a number of shops have been giving out bags-for-life last week, including some Tesco branches who were handing them out at the exits last week.

The 5p charge will go to charities and local causes, and the government reckon it'll raise over £70m a year. Tesco will be giving their customers the chance to vote in store and online for the charities and projects they'd like to see getting the money.

There are some exemptions in all this. Corner shops won't have to charge for plastic bags, and only bigger businesses that employ more than 250 people will have to impose the charge. Of course, environmental campaigners aren't at all happy with that, but then, when are they ever happy in all honesty?

Anyway, from now, start taking a rucksack to work or something, or be prepared to spend 5p on the carrier bags you use.

TOPICS:   High Street News   Supermarket


  • Alex
    It's not an environmental issue, it's a PR stunt made to look like an environmental issue. The biggie with supermarkets are the food miles- not just shipping the stuff from overseas (or in some cases, catching the fish off the coast of Scotland, air freighting it to the far east for canning, before bringing it back to the UK), but the UK logistic network that can see stuff moved around by lorry for hundreds of miles. Tackling this would cost supermarkets money, so it's much easier to charge us poor sods 5p a carrier bag and pretend that makes everything ok.
  • Mark W.
    Be prepared, in the next months, for some perplexed faces at checkouts. Where are the carrier bags? Give me some bags! They're 5p each, how many would you like? What? But They're Free / I'm a pensioner / No understandy / etc
  • Dino
    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the supermarket over the road if I buy raw meat I will expect a free bag and put the rest of the stuff in the trolley then fill it up after leaving the checkout. Once I have paid and left the checkout the bag is mine and I am free to do with it as I like, if anyone says anything to me they will get a mouthful and possible hit.

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