Smaller garden centre companies set to charge for carrier bags

Garden centres and other retailers smaller than 250 employees are set to charge for carrier bags.

Greenfingers' John Ashley and Squires' Dennis Espley
Greenfingers' John Ashley and Squires' Dennis Espley

From October 5, new rules from Defra mean large shops will be forced to charge customers 5p for every plastic bag used.

The Government previously said it would be 'costly and unfair' to force the change onto small shops that employ fewer than 250 staff.

But Scotsdales garden centre managing director Caroline Owen said: "Currently we do not have the 250 FTE number of employees at Scotsdales and as such we do not have to comply with the legislation. We are however looking at it for two reasons to reduce costs and raise money for charity."

Squires, which has more than 250 employees, will donate cash raised to Greenfingers.

And thousands of corner shops in England are set to charge 5p for each carrier bag used from 5 October, despite not being forced to do so.

Aa survey by the Association of Convenience Stores found about 8,000 corner shops, newsagents and village stores across England are planning to introduce the charge. The trade body claims some have already started to.

The bag charge comes into force from October 5 in England, bringing it in line with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is hoped it will cut plastic bag use by 80 per cent.

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