Plastic bag charge to rise to 10p in all shops to reduce plastic pollution

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  • The new 10p charge will take effect in January 2020.

    The charge for purchasing plastic bags is set to rise to 10p in all shops across England in a bid to halt any further environmental damage being caused by plastic pollution.

    A 5p free was implemented in October of 2015 to reduce the amount of plastic used by consumers within England.

    A new plan has now been set out by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, which will see a rise in this charge to 10p for every bag bought.

    This new 10p charge is expected to come into effect in January 2020.

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    Under the current system, smaller retailers are exempt from having to implement the 5p charge. However, once the new plan is brought in, all shops will be under an obligation to charge consumers 10p if they wish to purchase a plastic bag.

    In the last three years since the 5p charge has been implemented nation-wide, it has been calculated that an estimated 15 billion bags have been taken out of circulation.

    15 ways to reduce plastic waste

    Discussing the decision to increase the charge for plastic bags to 10p, the Environment Secretary stated: ‘We want to do even more to protect our precious planet and today’s announcement will accelerate further behaviour change and build on the success of the existing charge.’

    It is not solely the use of plastic bags, however, that are being clamped down on by the government in a bid to phase out our society’s environmentally damaging habits.

    It is possible that plastic straws will be completely banned within the next year as a part of a new initiative that has been launched to stop ocean pollution.

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    The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has stated that this particular ban on straws could come into play as soon as October 2019, and by October 2020 at the latest.

    Education Secretary Damien Hinds has also urged schools to cut down on single use plastics such as food packaging, with the hope that sustainable alternatives will be made available in their place by 2022.