NFRN bats for extension of plastic bag charge to indie retailers

Plastic bag sales down 86% since 5p charge
A person leaves with their goods in reusable plastic carrier bags after shopping at a branch of Asda in south London on January 10, 2018. (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has urged the government to extend the carrier bag levy to independent retailers in England.

Welcoming the latest government data that showed over 95 per cent reduction in plastic carrier bag sales in England’s major supermarkets since the introduction of 5p charge in 2015, NFRN national president Stuart Reddish asked the government to follow through with its promise to extend the scheme to all retailers.

“The data is great news for consumers, retailers and for the environment,” Reddish said.

“If we want to continue to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags then the government must follow through on its promise that it made to the NFRN, to end the exclusion of independent retailers from the carrier bag levy scheme.”

The government has earlier announced its plans to extend the 5p plastic bag charge to all retailers and increase the charge to 10p. The consultation on this topic was closed on 22 February 2019, but the government is yet to publish its response to the feedback.

The charge currently applies to retailers employing over 250 people.