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Waste and carrier bag charge legislation

In Scotland, a number of regulations exist which are designed to help businesses and organisations to capture the value of materials.

The key areas of legislation are the Waste (Scotland) Regulations and the Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) Regulations.

Waste (Scotland) Regulations

Heralding perhaps the biggest game changer the industry has seen, the Waste (Scotland) Regulations came into force on the 1 January 2014.  

The regulations require all businesses and organisations to separate key materials – plastic, glass, metals, paper and card – for recycling, while most food businesses are also required to separate food waste for collection.  

Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) Regulations

The Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) Regulations came into force in October 2014 and requires all retailers to charge a minimum of 5p for every single-use carrier bag.  

Zero Waste Scotland is on hand to provide support and information to retailers and to help them to understand their responsibilities around the charge. There is a dedicated website for retailers with a host of useful tools and materials, including a staff training video and artwork for in-store marketing. Click here.

Carrier Bag Commitment.

All retailers, large or small are encouraged to to sign up to the Carrier Bag Commitment.  

The voluntary agreement asks retailers to commit to donating proceeds of the charge to good causes in Scotland, particularly ones which benefit the environment; and to record the number of bags sold and how the money was used through a central portal.  Signatories include Marks and Spencer, Holland and Barratt and Superdry.  

To find out more about the charge and Carrier Bag Commitment click here

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