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English shops to double charge for single-use plastic bags to 10p

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers carry shopping in plastic bags in the West End, in London

LONDON (Reuters) – All retailers in England will charge for single-use plastic carrier bags from next April with the price doubling to 10 pence ($0.13), the government said on Monday as it stepped up efforts to reduce plastic waste.

Since October 2015, large retailers in England have been legally required to impose a charge of 5p for plastic bags, a measure which the government says has taken 15 billion bags out of circulation.

In England the charges will now apply to all retailers, not just those with more than 250 staff members, and the charge will be increased to 10p per bag.

“Ministers want to see bag usage cut significantly in small shops as well, with customers incentivised to use long-life bags made from more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials,” said a statement from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

The Marine Conservation Society said that since the 5p charge was introduced it had seen a drop of more than 60% in the number of plastic bags on UK beaches.

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