printed plastic bags
November 17, 2014

Scottish 5p bag charge comes into effect


You may have read our previous news story, posted back in June, about the 5p plastic bag charge being backed by the Scottish government.

As of October 20th, the charge officially came into effect and the scheme has now been implemented across Scotland, as it has in Wales and Northern Ireland; this means that England is the last country in the UK to put the 5p bag charge into action.

The levy affects all single-use carrier bags, including those made of paper or plant-based materials as well as plastic ones. The scheme has been designed in an effort to reduce the number of carrier bags in Scotland by around 70%, and will have to be implemented by all food and non-food retailers.

The Scottish government want to encourage people to reuse their carrier bags and reduce the amount of bags that are thrown away as litter; the Scottish Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead, has said that “Our carrier bag addiction is symptomatic of our throwaway culture and has serious implications for the environment.

“Huge numbers of these bags end up as litter, blighting our communities and clogging up our seas and natural habitats, affecting many sorts of wildlife and marine species in particular.

“We want that to change, and for people to stop and think about whether they really need to take another bag.”

It is reported that many Scottish retailers who will be charging their customers for their carrier bags will be donating the proceeds to charities, though they are under no obligation to do so.

The Queen confirmed in a speech earlier this year that England would be implementing the carrier bag charge from October 2015.

Have you been affected by the new legislation?

To talk about what the carrier bag charge means for you and the other products we could offer to help you avoid having to charge your customers for their bags, contact us today on 0191 268 7555, or email

(Quotes and info from this article)

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