ACS welcome plastic bag charge rise in Scotland

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed an announcement from the Scottish Government that the minimum price of a single use carrier bag (SUCB) is set to increase from 5p to 10p in an effort to help tackle plastic waste.

Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham confirmed today (13th January) that the increase is scheduled to be implemented from 1st April 2021. The announcement follows a public consultation launched at the end of 2019 by the Scottish Government on ways to develop Scotland’s circular economy.

The increase in the single use carrier bag charge will not result in a cost increase for retailers. The main impacts on retailers are the administrative costs of increasing the charge and, for retailers with more than 10 employees (FTE), the keeping of records on the number of SUCBs sold with a requirement of keeping these records for a minimum of five years.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said, “Charging for single-use carrier bags is a popular measure with local shops, as it works to reduce the use of single-bags and also allows retailers to raise more money for local and environmental causes.

'We welcome the Scottish Government’s decision to increase the charge for single-use carrier bags in Scotland and will work with members as well as the wider convenience retail sector ahead of the scheduled implementation date at the beginning of April.”

The increase will bring the plastic bag charge in line with that of England, which is set to increase to 10p and be extended to all shops in April 2021.