Single Use Carrier Bag Charge FAQs
- Who do the new Regulations apply to, and what is the charge?
- Are there any exemptions?
- What reporting is required?
- Why has this legislation been put in place?
- Who have introduced the regulations?
- What support is available to businesses?
The Single Use Carrier Bag Charge Regulations which were introduced in Scotland on 20th October 2014, applies to ALL business, food and non-food, who hand out single use carrier bags to their customers. A minimum levy of 5p per single use bag must be charged. This includes bags made from plastic, paper, and plant based materials.
The charge applies where goods are sold or delivered into Scotland whether purchased in-store or online shopping.
Yes, details of exemptions for particular products, and also for size of single use carrier bags can be found here.
If you employ 10 or more full time (or equivalent full time) staff across your business, you will be required to keep records of the number of bags issued, and the charges collected. Zero Waste Scotland has established a Carrier Bag Commitment to accompany the Regulations and you can sign up here. By signing the Commitment you will be able to use a free reporting tool which will help you centralise your records and ensure your compliance with the new Regulations.
For further information on the records which must be kept, and the reporting of data, visit the FAQ section of the Single Use Carrier Bag Charge Scotland website.
The issues with a single use carrier bag is that they are a common source of litter. They are also a very visible source of litter, and are a clear representation of our throw-away society.
The introduction of the Single Use Carrier Bag Charge is hoped to help prevent litter, and combat Scotland's throw-away society. Similar charges introduced in Wales and Northern Ireland have seen a reduction in single use carrier bags by 75% and 80% respectively.
The Scottish Government have created these Regulations through the Climate Change Act with the intention of reducing visible litter and changing public behaviour.
Zero Waste Scotland is the body responsible for working with retailers in helping them manage regulatory change. Zero Waste Scotland are providing business support materials to inform shoppers in-store as well as training resources (including a video) to help with staff engagement.
We have developed a Commercial Waste Information Guide and a Voluntary Code of Practice for Litter which offer help and assistance with managing waste and litter in a more effective manner. Zero Waste Scotland have a range of resources to help your business with the Single Use Carrier Bag Charge Regulations.