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5p Carrier Bag Charge

Reducing litter and waste through good legislation


To protect people from the risk of transmitting coronavirus and to speed up food deliveries, The Scottish Government has temporarily suspended charging for single use carrier bags in some circumstances.

Find out more: https://bit.ly/2JdvmAn


The Scottish Parliament passed legislation on 20 October 2014 that requires all retailers (food and non-food) to charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag (including paper, those made from some plant-based materials and plastic). 

The aim is to encourage bag re-use and reduce the visible impact of litter.

We are supporting Scottish retailers to help them understand their legal requirements under the regulations and provide staff training support and marketing materials for customer in-store communications. 

We operate Scotland’s Carrier Bag Commitment, a voluntary agreement that asks retailers to report carrier bag sales and commit to donating the money raised through the charge to good causes in Scotland.

By signing up to the commitment, retailers can access communication materials and contribute to national reporting on carrier bag use. For more information, please see the Carrier Bag Commitment Guidance document.

A ‘One Year On’ report is available, which evaluates the impact of the charge one year after it was introduced. 

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