Charging for carriers bags could give Scotland a £90m boost

THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT estimates that plans to get retailers to charge a minimum of 5p for a carrier bag could net around £90m, according to a long term forecast.


Plans to introduce the mandatory charge is part of government proposals to reduce waste, with proceeds from slaes to be donated to charities and environmental groups.


A document examining the costs to businesses and shoppers has found that an initial charge of 5p for every plastic bag will cost consumers £14m a year.


One-off costs to retailers are estimated to amount to £1.7m, including set-up costs to alter till-points to process and itemise the charge on receipts, train staff and communicate changes. Annual costs to retailers of keeping records and reporting back are estimated at £1.5m.

But the government wants the scheme to be “cost-neutral” to retailers, and plans to negotiate an agreement on donating the net proceeds to charitable and environmental good causes after recovering administration costs.


One-off costs to the government are estimated at £1m, including advertising and communication, introducing the necessary legislation and preparatory work on enforcement, with a further £1m in annual costs.