Plastic bags to cost 5p from October 2015

The Government has bowed to pressure to introduce a charge on single-use carrier bags to cut litter.
The Government has bowed to pressure to introduce a charge on single-use carrier bags to cut litter. Credit: PA

A 5p charge on single-use carrier bags will be introduced in England in October 2015 in a bid to cut down on litter, it was announced in the Queen's Speech.

However, small retailers will be exempt from the charge, to prevent imposing burdens on start-up businesses, the Government said.

Supermarkets handed out more than 7 billion single-use carrier bags in England in 2012.

The move follows success of a similar scheme in Wales where a 5p charge reduced the number of carrier bags given out in the country by 75%.

Northern Ireland has also brought in a charge and Scotland is set to do so this year.

Read: 5p levy on plastic bags expected in Queen's Speech

Advertisement

Pension reforms announced in Queen's Speech 2014

Plans for giant "pooled" pension schemes with the potential to boost people's chances of getting a better retirement outcome have been unveiled in the Queen's Speech. The legislation will enable "collective schemes" that spreads risk between members.