Why shoppers in the Midlands will be paying more from this week

Shoppers are about to be hit in the pocket when major shops hike the cost of plastic bags. Credit: PA

Your weekly shopping bill will increase from this week if you're among the millions of people who use plastic shopping bags.

New laws that will see the price of a plastic bag double from 5p to 10p at stores with more than 250 employees, came into effect on Monday (April 5). It'll affect major retailers including Asda, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Home Bargains and Primark.

Environment Secretary George Eustace says it is part of the Government's fight against plastic pollution.

"We have all seen the devastating impact plastic bags have on the oceans and on precious marine wildlife, which is why we are taking bold and ambitious action to tackle this issue head on. But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener."

George Eustace MP, Environment Secretary
Plastic bag use has dropped dramatically since the 5p charge was introduced (Chris Radburn/PA) Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Plastic bag sales in England's supermarkets have fallen by 90 per cent since a 5p charge was introduced in 2015, Government figures have revealed. The average person in England now buys just four bags per year.

Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury's, Co-Op, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons sold 549 million plastic bags in 2018-19 - half the number purchased in the previous year.

England's plastic bag fee came into effect on October 5, 2015, with all supermarkets and large stores made to charge a minimum of 5p every time they sold a single-use carrier bag.

In recent months, hundreds of companies have made pledges to cut back the amount of plastic and packaging they use.

Supermarket giant Asda recently vowed to ditch plastic carrier bags for online shopping, while Boots announced in June that it will get rid of them completely in favour of paper bags.

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