HMRC have doubled the levy on single-use plastic bags to 10p following the results of the consultation 'Single-use carrier bags: extending and increasing the charge'. It will apply to all retailers who have over 250 employees.

The government will extend and increase the charge starting in April 2021 with the minimum mandatory charge for single-use plastic bags increasing from 5p to 10p. This will apply to all businesses in England that supply goods in single-use carrier bags. 

The Single-Use Carrier Bags Charges (England) Order 2015 came into force in October 2015 and required businesses that sell goods with over 250 employees to charge a minimum of 5p for the supply of single-use carrier bags. Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) were excluded from the charge.

HMRC reported that "These regulations have been effective, reducing the use of single-use carrier bags by over 95% in the main supermarkets and raising over £180m for good causes".

Its consultation also found that major further reductions in consumption could be achieved in increasing the tax and extending it to include airport retailers and civil and voluntary organisations. The obligation to report on the number of bags sold each year that currently applies to large retailers and will not be extended to MSMEs.

Useful guides on this topic

Carrier Bag Tax
A single-use plastic carrier bag tax was introduced in October 2015 bringing England into line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

English plastic bag charge (VAT)
A 5p charge on single-use carrier bags will be introduced in England from 5 October 2015, bringing the country into line with the rest of the UK, and HMRC has published details confirming how VAT should be accounted for on the new "bag tax".

External link

HMRC Consultation conclusion: Single-use carrier bags: extending and increasing the charge