Carrier bag charge for shoppers in Wales introduced

The university Centre for Business Relationships said it interviewed 600 shoppers and while 70% supported the levy, a significant number believed it was introduced solely to raise revenue for the government.

“That because a lot of people said to us it plastic bags they didn actually identify that it also extended to paper bags, and Wales is quite unique in that it extending it to paper bags as well.

“But also many pe nike shoes ople turned round and said to us it was making money for the government. They weren aware that no funds were going to the government and actually the money should be disseminated to charities and environmental causes.”

She added that she did not think the 5p minimum charge was high enough and may have to be increased.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said some retailers were still unaware of the new regulations, despite the Welsh Government sending out information packs.

It also said there was confusion about exemptions to the levy and how the fee would be enforced.

Gareth Clubb, director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said there had been a campaign to tackle the problem of single use bags which had been supported by environmentalists, businesses, shoppers nike shoes and schools all over Wales.

“We delighted that this is coming in. Local groups of Friends of the Earth Cymru have been campaigning for many years for a plastic bag charge of some sort so we very happy to see it come in,” he said.

“The idea that people might see it as a plastic bag tax is possibly a concern but over the weeks and months, one of the things that retailers will have to do is to display where the money is going to so that will help dispel a lot of fears that people might have.”

Bu nike shoes sinesses with over 10 staff will be obliged to kee nike shoes p a record of the number of bags issued and account for how the proceeds from the charge are used.

Green goal

The Welsh Government hopes it will reduce the number of bags issued by shops, saying their use is “excessive”.

It estimates shoppers in Wales took home an estimated 350m carrier bags from the major supermarkets in 2009 273 bags for each household.

Carrier bag charge could benefit Scotland by

The Government wants retailers to charge shoppers a minimum of 5p for a carrier bag from next October.

At present, some retailers already charge for bags, but all shops will have to do so under the new scheme, designed to cut down on consumer waste.

A document examining the costs to businesses and shoppers has found that an initial charge of 5p for every plastic bag will cost consumers 14 million a year.

One off costs to retailers are estimated to amount to 1.7 million, including set up costs to alter till points to process and itemise the charge on receipts, train staff and communicate changes. Annual costs to retailers of keeping records and reporting back are estimated at 1.5 million.

But the Government wants the scheme to be “cost neutral” to retailers, and plans to negotiate an agreement on donating the net proceeds to charitable and environmental good causes after recovering administration costs.

One off costs to the Government are estimated at 1 million, including advertising and communication, introducing the necessary legislation and preparatory work on enforcement, with a further 1 million in annual costs.

But the document found that comparing the costs and benefits of the scheme over time revealed a net benefit of 90 million by introducing the mandatory charge compared with the current voluntary charge system.

Commenting on the figures outlined in Government’s report, environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor said: “This green driven initiative is going to have a real financial impact on businesses, shoppers and the taxpayer.

“It’s all very well saying this is a move to safeguard the environment, but that’s of no consolation to struggling retailers who are being lumbered with more costly red tape.

“And people who find it hard enough to pay their weekly shopping bill are going to find there’s yet another charge to contend with.

“We’d much prefer to see an incentive based scheme brought in, which could see shoppers rewarded something that will make it easy for businesses to run if they want to.

“This is more evidence of the SNP’s blind determination to legislate for everything, without thinking of the everyday impact this is going to have.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “There will always be some costs associated with the introduction of any new initiative. However, the report clearly shows the overwhelming result will be a positive one for the environment and for the taxpayer, with cleaner streets and countryside as well as less waste.

“Those resisting the scheme need to realise that the vast majority of Scots support plans for a carrier bag charge as they know it will be good for the environment and can be easily avoided by simply re using existing bags or a using a ‘bag for life’.”

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