Fylde MP’s call for checks on 5p bag charge donations

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has asked the Government to ensure cash raised by carrier bag sales makes its way to good causes.

The 5p charge, introduced in 2015 at all businesses with more than 250 employees, has helped reduce plastic bag usage by up to 80 per cent in some supermarkets – and the 5p levy is to be sent to charitable causes.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to ask: “What steps her Department is taking to ensure that revenue generated by retailers from charging for single use carrier bags is donated to good causes?”

One of the campaign adverts leading up to the introduction of the 5p bag charge

One of the campaign adverts leading up to the introduction of the 5p bag charge in 2015

Therese Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told him: “As the single use carrier bags charge is not a tax, the Government does not have the power to take the proceeds of the charge nor to determine where the charge goes.

“However, we expect retailers to donate the proceeds of the charge to good causes such as charities or community groups.

“Retailers are required to report on the uses to which the proceeds of the charge have been put to encourage them to do so.

“Any additional change in policy would require an assessment of cost and efficacy implications. The Single Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 requires the Secretary of State to carry out a review of this Order before 5 October 2020.”

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