By doubling the charge for plastic bags from 5p to 10p and extending it to all businesses across England, the government hopes to reduce plastic waste.
Under the 5p levy introduced in England in 2015, only businesses with 250 employees or more had to charge per bag, while smaller shops could choose to do so voluntarily.
Now all stores, including corner shops, will have to apply the charge in a move the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) expects will decrease the use of single-use carrier bags by 70-80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses.
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