Carrier Bag Charge Charity Plea

1 July 2014, 05:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Retailers have been urged to donate the proceeds from the 5p carrier bag charge to charity when the regulation comes into force later this year.

Shops will be required to charge 5p for every single-use carrier bag under a new Scottish Government zero waste regulation which comes in on October 20.

The Government hopes all the money raised will go to good causes, but this will rely on a voluntary agreement by retailers.

Zero Waste Scotland has now launched the Carrier Bag Commitment to recognise retailers who donate the money.

The Government-funded body has already secured the support of the Scottish Seabird Centre, McDonald's, Marks and Spencer, The Co-operative Group, Holland and Barrett, Scotmid and RS Components.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "I urge all retailers in Scotland to consider signing up to the commitment - it's quick, easy, transparent, and provides great publicity for your business and the good causes you choose to support.

"Zero Waste Scotland backs the carrier bag charge as a means to reduce the number of single-use bags in circulation, which often end up as litter in our streets or seas.

"We are rolling out a programme of support to Scottish retailers over the summer and beyond to help them understand the proposed carrier bag regulations, and to make the necessary changes in their business."

Tom Brock, CEO of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: "Conservation and the environment are at the heart of what we do. I strongly recommend and encourage all retailers, visitor attractions and other businesses who issue single use bags to sign up as a priority.

"The charge for bags is very welcome: single-use carrier bags and the litter they cause harm our wonderful wildlife and Scotland's outstanding natural environment.

"This charge will hopefully encourage more people to recycle and re-use wherever possible. It is a great win/win. It will help wildlife, the environment, businesses, Scotland's tourism industry and can support the important work of environmental charities."

John Lee, policy and public affairs manager at the Scottish Grocers' Federation, said: "The Scottish Government has taken a very collaborative approach to developing the carrier bag commitment and the Scottish Grocers' Federation is happy to support the commitment."