The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) is once again supporting the Break The Bag Habit coalition and renewing their calls for the 5p charge on plastic bags to be extended to small shops in England as a new poll revealed that 42 per cent of respondents were confused that only some outlets imposed the levy (bag charge exemptions include businesses of fewer than 250 employees, paper bags or franchises such as Subway.)
Responding, NFRN Chief Executive Paul Baxter said: “We have said all along that excluding small shops from the levy would cause customer confusion and this latest poll clearly demonstrates this to be the case. With nearly half the respondents saying they are unclear on the legislation and nearly three quarters saying that the 5p charge is reasonable, it must surely be time for the government to look again at extending the levy to smaller shops.
“This would have clear benefits all round. Customer confusion would disappear and as well as cutting their own costs and playing a part in reducing the litter issues in their areas, our members can help raise even more money for local and worthy causes. With such new and compelling evidence, it has to be time for the Department of the Environment to reconsider.”
The Break The Bag Habit coalition are calling on the government to introduce a bag charge for England that covers paper and plastic single-use bags across all shops, as the bags charges do in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
SAS are founding members of the Break The Bag Habit coalition.