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Carrier bag charges – how can your store benefit?

From the 5th October, the carrier bag charge will be introduced in England, applying to shops with over 250 staff.todays-bag2

While this change isn’t compulsory for the host of independent retail and convenience stores across the country, industry experts are encouraging smaller stores to introduce the charge. Over 90% of the 8.5bn carrier bags used by UK shoppers were filled in England.* As well as helping to reduce the number of plastic bags heading for landfill sites, the industry hopes to help convenience retailers to raise money for charities or local causes through the sale of these bags.

John Kinney, Retail Director at Today’s said: “The introduction of carrier bag charges brings with it a great opportunity for retailers to become more involved with their local community.”

“Retailers could charge for carrier bags and donate the funds to a local cause, a school or a hospital ward. Becoming part of the community through local initiatives like these helps retailers discover a loyal customer base and generate some positive publicity around their store, from the local newspaper, radio or even through word of mouth.”

Shoppers seem relatively prepared for the charges, with 75% suggesting that they are aware of the upcoming charge, whilst 72% claim that they already recycle or reuse carrier bags.*

Joining Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, which began charging for carrier bags in 2011, 2013 and 2014 respectively, the industry sees the move to purchasing bags will be a positive one. With little unrest across the borders during the transition, it is hoped that selling carrier bags instore will promote a greener, more environmentally conscious attitude, rather than inconveniencing customers.


*Source: The Grocer

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