Plastic bag charge set to double to 10p and be extended to every shop

Plastic bag charge – the charge for plastic bags is reportedly set to rise to 10p and be extended to every shop (Picture: PA)

The plastic bag charge is reportedly set to be doubled to 10p and be extended to every shop.

The Daily Mail and Telegraph reported that Theresa May will announce the extension to the current rules as part of plans to combat the scourge of plastic pollution.

Currently shops that employ more than 250 people have to charge at least 5p per plastic bag.

But under the new measures, that charge will reportedly double to 10p and include all shops.

Figures have shown that the number of disposable plastic carrier bags issued by the seven major supermarket chains have declined by 86% since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015.

The carrier bag levy was introduced in a bid to reduce their use and the litter they cause. In 2014, the number of single-use carrier bags handed out by supermarkets in England rose for the fifth year in a row to 7.6 billion – the equivalent of 140 bags per person.

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The plastic bag charge isn’t a tax, so does not go to the Government but retailers are expected to give it to good causes.

As part of a drive to reduce waste, ministers have previously announced an intention to ban the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds and plans for a deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates of drinks bottles and cans.