Businesses urged to donate carrier bag tax to charity

Carrier bag Shoppers will be charged 5p for a carrier bag from 20 October

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Retailers have been urged to donate the proceeds from the carrier bag charge to charity.

New legislation means shops will be required to charge 5p for every single-use carrier bag from 20 October.

The Scottish government hopes all the money raised will go to good causes, but this will rely on a voluntary agreement by retailers.

Environmental group Zero Waste Scotland wants to recognise retailers who donate the money raised to charities.

The group has launched an initiative called the Carrier Bag Commitment which aims to recognise retailers who donate the money.

Several businesses have already signed up including Marks and Spencer, McDonalds and the Scottish Seabird Centre, the Co-operative Group, Holland and Barrett, Scotmid and RS Components group.

Tom Brock, CEO of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: "Conservation and the environment are at the heart of what we do.

"I strongly recommend and encourage all retailers, visitor attractions and other businesses who issue single use bags to sign up as a priority.

He added: "This charge will hopefully encourage more people to recycle and re-use wherever possible. It is a great win/win. It will help wildlife, the environment, businesses, Scotland's tourism industry and can support the important work of environmental charities."

Additional commitment

Zero Waste Scotland hopes to persuade more businesses to sign up to the scheme before October.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "I urge all retailers in Scotland to consider signing up to the commitment - it's quick, easy, transparent, and provides great publicity for your business and the good causes you choose to support.

"Zero Waste Scotland backs the carrier bag charge as a means to reduce the number of single-use bags in circulation, which often end up as litter in our streets or seas.

"We are rolling out a programme of support to Scottish retailers over the summer and beyond to help them understand the proposed carrier bag regulations, and to make the necessary changes in their business."

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