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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

Scottish Government Announces Carrier Bag Charge

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead recently announced that there will be a mandatory charge for carrier bags in order to cut down on the 750 million used in Scotland each year.  The charge will be a minimum of 5p per bag.

Regulations outlining the details will be introduced in the Scottish Parliament in time for businesses to start charging by October 2014.

John Drummond, SGF Chief Executive, advised that SGF has been working with Scottish Government officials on the issues around the carrier bag charge.  He said many of our members have been charging nominal amounts for disposable carrier bags for some time as part of the voluntary arrangement agreed with the Scottish Government in 2008.  Significant sums have been raised by retailers and donated to local charities and other good causes.  SGF has been keen to ensure that this kind of community support activity was allowed to continue under the new arrangements.

Charging for carrier bags is viewed as an inevitability throughout the UK and beyond in view of the perception of the harmful effect they have on the environment.

Full details regarding types and sizes and reporting requirements will be issued once finalised.

SGF will continue to work with Scottish Government officials to mimimise the impact for convenience stores.