Why the plastic bag charge could rise to 10p and where the money goes

Prime Minister Theresa May is said to be launching a consultation over the cost of a plastic bag.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 30th August 2018, 4:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th August 2018, 4:11 pm
Would you be willing to pay 10p for a plastic bag?
Would you be willing to pay 10p for a plastic bag?

Single-use plastic carrier bags have cost 5p since October 2015. At present, the charge only applies to retailers with 250 employees or more. The cost was first introduced in a bid to cut down on the use of the bags, and the litter they cause. Now, Theresa May is expected to launch a consultation which could see the cost double to 10p. But would you pay it?

According to reports, the consultation will also consider making all retailers, and not just larger businesses, pass the existing charge on to customers.

Retailers are also not required to charge you for a bag when it is made out of paper, if you're shopping at the airport or onboard a train, plane or ship or if bags contain certain items including unwrapped food where this is a safety risk, prescription medicines and uncovered blades.

Money raised through the scheme does not go to the Government, but instead goes towards good causes chosen by businesses themselves.

According to recent figures, two-thirds of retailers donated more than £66million to causes of their choice. from April 2016 to April 2017.

The number of bags being used in England has also gone down by more than 80%.