Impulse buys will help net over £110m in bag charges

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POPPING to the shop for those little extras is expected to cost shoppers more than £110m a year when a 5p charge for plastic bags is introduced, estimates show.

And increasing numbers of convenience stores, impulse purchases and a growing population could see the amount spent on bags rise even further once it is introduced in England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

The Government intends to bring in the 5p charge from October next year in an attempt to reduce the litter and environmental damage caused by more than seven billion single-use bags a year.

A 5p levy in Wales is said to have drastically reduced the number of carrier bags given out, while Northern Ireland has also brought in a charge, with Scotland set to do so this year.

Environment Minister Dan Rogerson said the gross revenue as a result of the charge is expected to be £110.5 million in 2016, rising to £113.5 million in 2018.

A Defra spokeswoman said the increasing number of convenience stores, such as Tesco Metro and Sainsbury’s Local meant there would be “potentially more people stopping off for impulse purchases, hence why we see the revenue go up.”