The 5p Single Use Carrier Bag Charge was introduced into England by the Government on October 5 this year and the Government may have been persuaded to act after evidence from Wales showed that, after the charge was introduced in 2011, plastic bag use fell by over 70%.
It is perhaps worth asking why though it has taken the Government more than four years longer than Wales to introduce a charge that so many English people agree is a good thing [Or do you? Read, The case against plastic bags, on our Opinion page for more detail]
The Government has also managed to add a degree of complexity and obfuscation over this plastic bag charge by granting a bewildering array of exemptions. One of these is for companies with less than 250 employees and that includes Jempsons.
Despite this exemption, Jempson’s will charge their customers 5p for a single use plastic bag from the end of this month.
Customers will be offered a range of alternatives such as the Jute Bag for £2 or a PVC shopping bag for £1. The single use plastic bags being used by Jempson’s will also be degradable.
The use of degradable plastic presents some challenges to the recycling industry, and the Government is investing in research to find out how the different types of plastic can be separated.
Retailers are expected to only recover their costs when introducing the charge. Any surplus is expected to be distributed to charities and, in the case of Jempson’s, will go to their Foundation.
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Image Credits: Rye News library .