Supermarkets: Plastic Bags

(asked on 15th March 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the increase in supermarket deliveries since the start of the covid-19 outbreak on the use of single use plastic bags by supermarkets.

Answered by
Rebecca Pow Portrait
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 23rd March 2021

Since 5 October 2015, large retailers in England have been required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for single-use carrier bags (SUCBs) and to report on the amount they sell each year. The data for the year 2020-2021 will be published in the summer.

The full datasets for each reporting year are on Gov.UK and can be accessed here:

The obligation for supermarkets to charge for SUCBs supplied with online deliveries (online grocery delivery bags) was temporarily removed in response to the first Covid-lockdown. These changes were only temporary, from 21 March 2020 to 21 September 2020. This exemption was made as a precautionary measure and in order to allow retailers time to adapt their delivery systems. As well as the charge exemption, the obligation to report during this time period was waived. The charge for these bags was reinstated in September 2020 along with the reporting requirement. Therefore the dataset for the year 2020-2021, will not include data from this period on bags used for online deliveries.

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