Charging for plastic carrier bags

Businesses and retailers can be fined up to £5000 for not complying with rules around charging for single-use plastic carrier bags. 

Since 21 May 2021 most retailers have had to charge a minimum of 10 pence for single-use carrier bags in England. Fines of up to £5000 can be issued for persistent offenders who fail to implement this charge.

Single-use carrier bags are often disposed of as waste, they take a long time to degrade in the environment can damage wildlife and are extremely visible when littered in our towns, parks and the countryside.

Single use bags are defined largely by their physical properties. Claiming the bag is meant to be re-used is not enough to avoid charging. More about single-use plastic bags and when you are required to charge.

Retailers are not obliged to donate the proceedings to a charity, but it is recommended and it can make it easier to explain the charge to customers who may be unhappy to pay.

Businesses with over 250 employees must keep records of the number of bags used, the total amount customers paid and the net proceeds. The records have to be submitted to the government each year and must include information about what they do with the money from the charge. Reports are submitted through the Carrier Bags Charge Reporting Portal.

Please visit GOV.UK for more information and advice about your responsibilities and how to avoid being fined.

Why there's a charge | GOV.UK

Carrier bag charges: retailers' responsibilities | GOV.UK