The new government policy, which came in to force on 5 October 2015, requires all large retailers (with the equivalent of over 250 full-time employees) to charge a minimum of 5p for single-use plastic bags. Small and medium employers who are not required by law to levy the tax are also being urged to adopt the scheme voluntarily in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags.
Retailers are free to donate profits from the tax to good causes and within the horticultural industry British Garden Centres and Squire’s Garden Centres, who both qualify for the tax, along with Langlands Garden Centre, who are voluntarily contributing, have already announced they will donate profits to Greenfingers. The charity is now hoping other retailers will follow this lead and think of Greenfingers when deciding on a beneficiary for their carrier bag tax.
Linda Petrons, head of fundraising for Greenfingers, said of the tax: "The government carrier bag tax provides an easy opportunity for retailers to donate to good causes. We are extremely grateful to British Garden Centres, Squire’s, and Langlands who have already been kind enough to select Greenfingers as their benefiting charity. We urge others in the horticultural industry to follow suit and select us as their beneficiary – we have a waiting list of hospices who need our help to create gardens; contributions from the carrier bag tax can help us help them sooner."
Any retailer who would like to donate their profits from the carrier bag tax to Greenfingers, or retailers who don’t qualify for the tax but would like to voluntarily contribute, should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01494 764749.
For further information about the carrier bag tax please visit www.gov.uk