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Carrier Bag Charge ‘one year on’ report

Evaluating the impact of the carrier bag charge in Scotland during its first year of implementation

In October 2014, Scotland introduced a minimum 5p charge for single use carrier bags through the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014. Before the charge, retailers in Scotland gave out an estimated 800 million single-use bags each year. The new regulations have dramatically reduced this number. Hundreds of retailers have directed the proceeds of the charge to all manner of good causes 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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