The price of plastic bags is about to go up.

Shoppers currently pay a minimum of 5p for them but this is set to double to 10p.

The charge will also include smaller shops for the first time that have so far been exempt.

Currently only stores that employ more than 250 people have to charge at least 5p per bag.

Theresa May is expected to announce the price increase as part of a wider plan to tackle plastic pollution, the Daily Mail reported.

Ministers have previously discussed banning sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds.

A deposit return scheme to increase recycling rates of drinks bottles and cans has also been suggested.

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Plastic bag charge facts

  • The plastic bag fee came into effect in England on October 5 2015.
  • The Government introduced a law requiring all supermarkets and large stores to charge a minimum of 5p for every single-use plastic carrier bag they handed out.
  • The plastic bag charge is not a tax, and does not go to the Government.
  • Under the new measures, the charge would reportedly double to 10p.
  • Retailers are given the choice what to do with the proceeds, but they are expected to give it to good causes.

The Prime Minister may also consider using the tax system to combat waste is considering measures such as the ‘latte levy’ on coffee cups.

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The plastic bag charge has been a big success so far after cutting the use of the bags by supermarkets by 86% since it was introduced in 2015.

In 2014 around 7.6 billion were given out by retailers but that number has dropped to 1.75b this year.

The levy has also raised more than £58.5 million in donations for good causes.

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