Card Factory gets around the 5p bag charge by cutting off handles

The retailer found a loophole in the 5p tax law

Eleanor Ross
Saturday 30 January 2016 16:54
Since the tax, Tesco has reported a 78 per cent fall in single use bags
Since the tax, Tesco has reported a 78 per cent fall in single use bags

In a way to get around the 5p bag charge, retailer the Card Factory has chopped the handles off its carrier bags.

The retailer told PRW (Plastics and Rubbers Weekly) that: "The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed that not charging for bags without handles complies with the regulations as they stand."

The charge, which was introduced to all bags with a thin-gauge handle, makes retailers no extra profit as the proceeds go directly to charity.

Card Factory continues to offer bags with handles for a 5p charge but its move has been criticised.

A spokesperson for Friends of the Earth told the Huffington Post: "Plastic bags end up in the sea, stuck in trees, or uselessly cluttering up our cupboards.

"The whole point of the charge – which has been massively successful – is to make you think twice about whether you really need one, which people often don’t."

She continued: "Snipping off the handles is a clever wheeze to get round the charge, but it’s two fingers up at trying to protect animals and the environment."

It seems as though the bag charge is working - Tesco has reported a 78 per cent fall in single-use bags in England since October, when the tax came into play.

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