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Large retailers to charge 5p per plastic bag

Posted on - 23rd September, 2015 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Wildlife and Conservation
The 5p charge also hopes to combat a litter problem harmful to animals

The 5p charge also hopes to combat a litter problem harmful to animals. Pic: Ben Sutherland 

Large retailers will soon have to charge 5p for every plastic bag provided for shoppers.

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7 billion plastic carrier bags are thrown away each year and The Single Use Carrier Bags Charges Order 2015 is introducing the change to try to combat this amount.

It comes under the Climate Change Act 2008 and since a similar legislation was introduced in Wales in 2011, a 79% reduction in the amount used as waste was recorded.

The threshold for the large retailer criteria covers shops, supermarkets and delivery companies who employ 250 or more full time staff.

Bags for life will also have the charge applied to them, but they can still be replaced free of charge if they are damaged.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said, “Making small changes to our shopping habits can make a huge difference to the environment.

“Reusing some of the 130 carrier bags we each throw away every year could have significant benefits to wildlife, and help to save energy, and reduce waste and pollution.

“Our Trading Standards officers are currently working with businesses to prepare for this change in the law. If you think your business may be affected and would like some advice, please get in touch.”

Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service will enforce the charge from October 5.

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