Retail trade bodies the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) have launched new materials to help small stores introduce a plastic bag charging scheme following the publication of the Government’s 25-Year Environment Plan.
The joint initiative is designed to make it easier for retailers to charge on a voluntary basis for single-use plastic bags. A poster and other materials have been produced to help retailers to communicate their plastic bag charging policy to consumers, including guidance on how to administer a voluntary charging policy.
Currently 42% of independent retailers already charge for plastic bags and 65% support the introduction of mandatory plastic bag charging in England.
Environment minister Thérèse Coffey said: “I welcome this step by the Association of Convenience Stores and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents.
“As the Prime Minister said when launching our 25-Year Environment Plan, to help achieve our goal of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste, we will extend the 5p plastic bag charge to all retailers, to further reduce usage, and we’ll be setting out our next steps in due course.”
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “There are thousands of retailers that are already charging for single-use plastic bags on a voluntary basis, and the feedback has been extremely positive. Retailers are able to use the funds raised from plastic bag charging to support local causes, while also playing their part in reducing the overall number of plastic bags given out.”
NFRN national president Linda Sood said: “Independent retailers are the cornerstone of their local communities. NFRN members pride themselves on retailing responsibily and want to play a role in ridding their local surroundings of plastic waste. Through the carrier bag levy they recognise they can help protect the environment and raise funds for deserving good causes the length and breadth of the country at the same time."
ACS and NFRN will be sending out hard copies of the materials to members in the coming weeks. The materials are also be free to download at https://www.acs.org.uk/advice/carrier-bags