The requirement for a 5p charge for carrier bags has caused some confusion and so here is a summary of the rules, condensed from the gov.uk web site.
image from Newsthump
- Retailers with 250+ employees (full-time equivalent) must charge. Small retailers do not have to charge but they may choose to do so.
- There are certain items which can be bagged without charge but if other items are added to the bag then the charge is made. The bag-charge-exempt items include
- unwrapped blades, including axes, knives and razor blades. (Who sells unwrapped razor blades?)
- prescription medicines
- dry cleaning
- uncooked fish, meat and poultry
- unwrapped food, for example chips and most takeaways
- vegetables with mud, for example spuds and carrots, but also ginger
- loose seed
- live fish 'or other aquatic creatues'
- don't forget if you put a packet of chocolate hobnobs in with your axe or goldfish, you have to pay the 5p.
- There does not have to be a charge in duty-free shops, on click and collect purchases or when giving away promotional material.
- Shops do not have to charge for 'woven plastic bags', whatever those might be.
- Shops must keep records of the money charged for these bags. They are allowed to deduct administration expenses (not the cost of the bags) and then must donate the remainder to whatever good cause(s) they choose.
- Members of the public can ask shops for copies of their carrier bag records and they must respond within 28 days. That could be fun.