From 20 October new Scottish Government legislation comes into effect meaning that all retailers will have to charge at least 5p for a single use carrier bag.
The new law is part of a programme to reduce litter and encourage more environmentally friendly practices. with this move Scotland joins Wales and Northern Ireland who have already implemented such a charge.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“In Scotland we use over 800 million new single-use carrier bags every year – more per head than anywhere else in the UK. That is something we want to change. This milestone legislation underlines that Scotland is serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.
“We want people to stop and think about whether they really need another bag that could end up as litter. Instead we want people to get into the habit of reusing bags. The message of this campaign is that if we all remember our bags when we head out to the high street, the supermarket or the corner shop, it’s better for the environment and we’ll save money.
“Scotland’s bag charge will see funds donated to good causes by retailers. It is hugely heartening to see so many have already signed up to the Carrier Bag Commitment on donations and I’d encourage all retailers in Scotland to get involved.
“The introduction of bag charging has received a great deal of public and retailer support and I hope that together we can repeat the success achieved in other countries including Wales and Northern Ireland where similar measures have been brought in.”
Shoppers are encouraged to remember and reuse bags in order to avoid the charge. You can find out more about the charge here.