Friends of the Earth Scotland has welcomed the increased single-use carrier bag charge.

From today (Thursday 1st April), all retailers across Scotland must charge a minimum of 10p for each new single-use carrier bag used.

The carrier bag charge was first introduced in Scotland in October 2014. In its first year, there was a 80% reduction in the number of plastic bags given out – preventing the use of 650 million bags.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Plastic and Circular Economy Campaigner Sarah Moyes said:

“Plastic bags are a vivid symbol of our throwaway culture and this small change will help to further reduce the number of plastic bags which end up littering our streets, burning in incinerators or sitting in landfill for hundreds of years.”

“The huge success of the charge so far in cutting plastic waste shows the importance of targeted Government action in protecting the environment. The plastic industry opposed these moves but time has once again shown them to have been in the wrong. ”

The Scottish Government recently published its draft regulations on banning single-use plastic and oxo-degradable plastic products e.g plastic straws, cutlery, and drink stirrers. However, the launch date for the Deposit Return Scheme for drinks bottles and cans has been delayed again until July 2022. This is despite the Deposit Return Scheme being announced in the 2017 Programme for Government.

“In order to fully tackle Scotland’s plastic crisis, we need the Scottish Government to move quickly to bring forward further action including the forthcoming ban on environmentally harmful single-use items like plastic straws, plates and cutlery.”

“We also urge Scotland to introduce the Deposit Return Scheme next year, as any further delays to its start date will only result in more plastic pollution from the millions of plastic bottles and cans which are not being collected.”


The Scottish Government announces 10p carrier bag charge:

Zero Waste Scotland’s carrier bag figures:

The Scottish Government’s Draft Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products and Oxo-degradable Plastic Products) (Scotland) Regulations 2021:

Deposit Return Scheme review to be launched: https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/latest-news/scotland-to-review-drs-implementation-date/ 

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.