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Single Use Carrier Bags Charge

From 1 October 2011 the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Wales) Regulations came into force making Wales the first UK Country to charge for single use carrier bags.


Blue plastic bagThe aim of the legislation is to drastically reduce the number of single use carrier bags in Wales.

A single use carrier bag is classed as those made of plastic, paper, plant based material or natural starch, and are not intended for multiple re-use. There are limited exemptions to this list.

The regulations impose a minimum 5p charge for these bags to be collected by the retailer. Net proceeds are then passed to good causes in Wales.

Local authorities will be responsible for enforcing the charge and will only act when they believe that there has been a breach of the regulations. Penalties will range from £100 up to £5,000 depending on the severity of the breach.

The Welsh Local Government Association has produced guidance on the Enforcement of the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Wales) Regulations 2010.


More detailed information for both consumers and businesses can be found on the carrier bag charge Wales website:

Carrier Bag Charge Wales website