As of October 5th, you may have heard that you’ll be getting an extra 5p charge showing up on your shopping receipt. This is a result of the new 5p plastic bag charge that has recently been introduced to the UK.
This is a new law, which was brought in by the UK government, is to help reduce the number of plastic shopping bags that are being abandoned in the streets across the UK and the aim is to encourage you to reuse your old shopping bags. The new law was pushed through for a number of different reasons:
- In 2014, 7.64 billion shopping bags were handout out by supermarkets in England alone – 200 million more than the previous year.
- Campaigners have argued that plastic bags are littering the streets of the UK, causing damage to the countryside and also harming the local wildlife.
- Figures collected by waste-reduction body – Wrap – claim that the numbers of plastic bags handed out steadily rose over the past 4 years, with 6.4 billion being used in 2010.
The government are now hoping that this new 5p initiative can help to raise £60 million in savings through reduced litter pick-up services as well as an extra £13 million in carbon savings.
All of the money that is raised through the 5p charge goes initially to the supermarket who is charging you and, essentially, this money is theirs to keep. However, it is expected that all of the proceeds will be donated to charity and good causes. It’s hoped that over the next 10 years, £730 million will be donated to these causes from the 5p charge alone.
Each company also has to report to their ministers and announce what they’ve done with the proceeds and all of the information will be published each year.
To find out more about this new charge and how it will affect you, check out the government website.
So, what can you do?
The first option that you have is to, of course, accept that you’ll now be paying an extra 5p each time you go shopping and get a plastic bag. If you use home delivery, it’s expected that you will still be charged the 5p for each bag that is used, however, you can return the bags to the supermarket to be recycled and receive a refund for the charges.
Alternatively, you could look to invest in a more long-term solution and get yourself a bag for life. Printed tote bags are brilliant for this due to their size and their hardwearing nature. If you’re working for a company, you could also offer these free tote bags to your customers and get brand recognition as well as getting into your customers good graces by simply getting the bag printed with your company logo.
We’ve recently launched a range of tote bags which are perfect if you’re looking for alternatives to plastic bags, looking for a personalised solution which allows you to carry your stuff or if you’re a company that’s looking to increase brand awareness through the use of printed promotional products. After all, a Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study which was conducted back in 2014 showed that an overwhelming 89% of those studied remember the advertiser when their campaign used promotional bags.
One excellent idea is to introduce printed tote bags into your marketing and brand awareness campaigns as you’ll be providing your customers with an excellent option for carrying their shopping while also getting free advertising for your company.
Now, who wouldn’t want that extra publicity?