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The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (England) Order 2015 is introducing a new 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags in England. The government announced these changes in response to environmental fears of excess littering and injury to marine life, caused by the use of large amounts of carrier bags.

It is hoped that by introducing the 5p charge for carrier bags, individuals will be encouraged to re-use carrier bags.

8 billion single use carrier bags were given out during 2013, this is just in the UK. This equals to 57,000 tonnes of single use carrier bags, what would weigh more than your average cruise ship! It is surprising this has reached such a colossal stage, yet the single use carrier bag charge is a step in the right direction.

Under the new regulations, small and medium sized businesses will be exempt from this plastic bag charge, in order to reduce the administrative burden on start-up and budding businesses.

For more information see the full text of the Order here.