England's charge for single-use plastic bags will double to 10 pence.
Currently, the bags are 5 pence and will go up to 10 pence on May 21. The charge on bags was introduced in major supermarkets in 2015 and new data shows the average person in England now buys just four single-use plastic bags a year from the main supermarkets, compared with 140 in 2014.
This equates to a 95 percent cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets
Along with the price hike, the plastic bag charge will be extended to all businesses in England to help further drive down sales. By extending the charge to all retailers, it is expected to decrease plastic bag purchases by 70-80 percent in small and medium-sized businesses.
United Kingdom Environment Minister Rebecca Pow is urging retailers of all sizes to prepare for the changes.
"As we work together to build back greener and strengthen our world-leading action to combat the scourge of plastic waste," she said.
Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) found a shift in attitude toward plastic bags since the charge for bags was initiated, according to a May 7 report.
Of the 2,000 adults in England WRAP surveyed, it revealed those who were either strongly or slightly in favor of the charge when it was first introduced has risen to 73 percent from 69 percent.
Customers are changing their habits and more often using long-life bags made from more sustainable materials, the results showed.
Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they used a "bag-for-life" — either fabric or more durable plastic — to take their shopping home.
Just 14 percent said they used a single-use plastic carrier bag. Another 26 percent said they still sometimes purchase bags from the till when shopping for food — including 4 percent who said they "always" purchase.
The change shows a significant fall since 2014 before the charge was introduced, when more than half reported taking plastic carrier bags from the till.
Forty-nine percent of 18-34 year-olds said they purchase plastic bags at the till at least sometimes, compared to just 11 percent of those over 55.
In addition to the bag charge, environmental initiatives by the English government include a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and a ban on the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.
A plastic packaging tax will be introduced in April 2022 for products which do not have at least 30 percent recycled content. The government is also currently consulting on landmark reforms that will introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for packaging.