The plastic bag charge is likely to double to 10p and will possibly be extended to all shops. The changes come as the government of the United Kingdom vow to promote further action to take down plastic waste.
The sales of plastic bags in the ‘big seven’ supermarkets in the country have already declined by 86 percent ever since the 5p charge was introduced way back in October 2015.
Up until now, the charge has only been applied to huge retailers that have 250 employees or more. However, the UK government has revealed some plans to consider the extension of the charge to all shops across the country.
Later this year, a consultation is also set to explore the possibility of raising the charge to “at least 10p.”
Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, stated: “We have taken huge strides to improve the environment, and the charge on plastic bags in supermarkets and big retailers have demonstrated the difference we can achieve by making small changes to our everyday habits.”
She added: “I want to leave a greener, healthier environment for future generations, but with plastic in the sea still set to treble we know we need to do more to better protect our oceans and eliminate harmful waste.”
The announcement of the Prime Minister is risking to worsen a political row with Philip Hammond, the British Chancellor as the said announcement comes amid reports that the chancellor is not happy with the plans. Reports also say that Treasury sources are briefing against them.
The UK government estimated that over three billion plastic bags were supplied every year by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which are currently exempt from being required to charge their customers.
Theresa May released the announcement regarding the plastic bag charge as she concluded her African tour in Kenya, where she revealed that six more countries had signed up to a Commonwealth drive to help clean the oceans.