Bag levy guidance given to retailers

Posted on 1st April, 2015

Retailers have been offered guidance on how to fulfil their duties under the 5p carrier bag charge, which comes into effect in England from October.

The era of free carrier bags will end this October

The era of free carrier bags will end this October

The guidance, which has been handed out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), includes information on how to submit bag charge data at the end of each year as well as details of bags falling under the scope of the charge.

Single use bags for which a 5p charge will be levied include any unused plastic bag with handles that is 70 microns thick or less.

Bags used in any delivery service must also incur a charge, with customers to be charged for the average number of bags used in a typical delivery. Defra has also advised retailers to offer ‘bagless’ deliveries to customers.

The government has also reiterated that the charge should only be applied by firms that employ 250 or more full-time equivalent employees – including those in retail and non retail roles.