Plastic bag levy to extend to all businesses, says Prime Minister

The Government will roll out the plastic bag levy across all businesses in England, under new plans proposed this week.
Currently, only businesses with 250 employees or more must legally charge customers 5p to use a plastic bag, with the proceeds donated to charitable causes.
The measure is said to have cut plastic bag usage by nearly 90 per cent since the introduction of the levy in 2015 and has so far raised more than £66 million.
The Prime Minister said the move forms part of the Government’s plan to tackle “throwaway culture”.
Extending the levy would “send a strong message to the public about the Government’s commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than it inherited”, Ms May said.
Chris Noice, from the Association of Convenience Stores, said he expects the public to welcome the charge and not cause too much disruption for small business.
“There was a bit of an adjustment period when the initial legislation came in in England. But everyone is pretty comfortable with it now,” he said.
He added that the majority of the association’s 3,500 small retailers approve of the scheme, with many having already taken it up voluntarily.
Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, recently dropped 5p plastic bags altogether. It instead opted to sell a more environmentally friendly “bag for life”, each costing the customer 10p.

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