Carrier Bag Charge ‘one year on’ report

Evaluating the impact of the carrier bag charge in Scotland one year on? 

Scotland introduced a minimum 5p charge for single use carrier bags on 20 October 2014 through the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations. 

Before the charge was introduced, an estimated 800 million single use bags were given out by the Scottish retailers each year.  Individual retailers are being encouraged to direct proceeds from the charge to good causes of their choice and report the number of bags sold through the Carrier Bag Commitment.

Key findings

A report was commissioned to evaluate the impact of the charge one year after it was introduced. The report estimates that the charge has:

  • Reduced single use carrier bag usage in the grocery sector by around 80 per cent since launch– equivalent to at least 650 million fewer bags being handed out annually compared to ‘business as usual’
  • Raised approximately £6.7m for good causes
  • Achieved net savings of over 4,000 tonnes of material, taking account of factors such as increased use of bags for life, and increased small bin liner purchases
  • Saved over 2,500 tonnes of CO2eq annually.

Read the full report

You can read the full report by downloading in the right hand column. 

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