EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND (June 25, 12:40 p.m. ET) — The Scottish Government is set to launch a three-month consultation on the possibility of retailers charging a 5-pence levy (about 8 cents) on plastic carrier bags.
Scotland's environment secretary, Richard Lochhead, said: “Carrier bags are a highly visible aspect of litter. By reducing the amount being carelessly discarded we can cut litter and its impact on our environment and economy. A small charge should also encourage us all to stop and think about what we discard and what can be reused.
“This initiative will see retailers donating the proceeds to charitable good causes. It is hoped this could be up to 5 million pound sterling per year (about $7.78 million) after retailers have covered their costs.”
The Scottish proposals are similar to the system brought in by the Welsh government in October. Early indications from Wales suggest a reduction in carrier bag use of between 60-80 percent.