The cost of a single-use carrier bag has now increased from 5p to 10p for all businesses in England
The 5p levy on plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015, but the price has now been increased to 10p, with all stores, including corner shops, required to apply the charge.
Previously, only businesses with 250 employees or more had to charge per bag, and smaller shops could choose to do so voluntarily.
It is expected that by extending the charge to all retailers the use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70 per cent to 80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
The most recent figures show the number of single-use bags distributed by large supermarkets has fallen by more than 95 per cent, with the average person in England now buying just four single-use bags a year, compared with around 140 in 2014.
‘The 5p bag charge has been hugely successful, but we can go further’
Environment minister, Rebecca Pow, said: “Everyone wants to play their part in reducing the scourge of plastic waste that blights our environment and oceans. The 5p bag charge has been hugely successful, but we can go further.
“From today we will increase the charge to 10p and extend it to all businesses. This will support the ambitious action we have already taken in our fight against plastic as we build back greener.
“We have banned the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, banned microbeads in personal care products, and we are consulting on a new deposit return scheme for drinks containers.”