MPs and Association of Convenience Stores call for universal carrier bag charge

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MPs have spoken out against Government plans to exclude small businesses from the 5p carrier bag charge in a parliamentary debate this morning (10 March).

In the debate, Dan Rogerson MP refused to acknowledge the concerns raised by both MPs and business groups, making no comment on the widespread support for a universal carrier bag charge.

ACS has called for all businesses to be included in the ban to ensure consistency for retailers and consumers alike. Under Government plans, businesses with fewer than 250 employees will be exempt from the ban.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Compulsory carrier bag charging is a policy that works. It significantly reduces carrier bag usage, it saves retailers money and it generates money for good causes. We agree with MPs on the committee that exempting small businesses from the 5p charge will create confusion for retailers and customers alike.”

A universal carrier bag charge is already in place in Wales and Scotland, with carrier bag usage being reduced by 80% over the last three years in Wales alone.

Lowman said: “Ministers’ aim to not add regulatory burdens on small business can be achieved through exempting them from the reporting requirements only. We will continue to press Ministers to change their plans for a small business exemption.”

MPs debated the Single Use Carrier Bag Charge Order (2015) this morning (10 March) in a delegated legislation committee.