Cardiff shops still 'unsure' of bag levy in Wales

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Some shops are still confused about how the single-use carrier bag charge will work when it is introduced on 1 October. BBC News Online reporter Gemma Ryall took a stroll down one Cardiff high street to see if stores there were ready for the changes.

The convenience store

Bobby Singh, manager of Lifestyle Express, Llandaff North

Bobby Singh Bobby Singh: ' I don't know who I'm supposed to give the money too'
  • Are you aware of the impending charge?

I've just heard about it from customers. They're telling me about it but I'm not sure when it's starting.

  • Do you understand what you will have to do to comply with the levy?

Not really, I don't think so. I've heard I have to charge 5p for a bag, but someone also told me 10p. I know what they [the Welsh Government] are trying to do and that makes sense. But I want to know how does it work? I have heard there may be secret shoppers. And I'm also wondering if I can bring in a promotion rather than getting my customers to pay - like spend a certain amount of money and I'll give a free bag.

  • Is your shop ready to implement the charge?

No, I'm not ready. I don't know who I'm supposed to give the money to.

  • Have you noticed that people are already starting to use their own bags when they shop?

I have noticed more people bringing in bags. I understand why this needs to be done. I already try to encourage people not to use a bag unless they need to. Some kids came in for chocolate and then asked for a bag so I tried to point out that they didn't need one. I just want to know more about how this will all work.

The take-away

Sam Cain, manager of Roosters, Llandaff North

Roosters take-away Sam Cain: 'I think we need more help and support'
  • Are you aware of the impending charge?

Yes, I found out in Asda. I haven't received a leaflet though.

  • Do you understand what you will have to do to comply with the levy?

Everybody has to charge for carrier bags. I'm going to try but I know my customers are going to mind. They're having a meal and then you charge them 5p. If I don't give a bag they will ask how they are supposed to carry it? It's very difficult and confusing for us.

  • Is your shop ready to implement the charge?

No way am I! It's the credit crunch and now I have to do this. I think we need more help and support.

  • Have you noticed that people are already starting to use their own bags when they shop?

No. Not a single person. Who's going to come to a takeaway with their own carrier bag? It's madness.

The off licence

Gurpreet Randhawa, owner of Bargain Booze Gurpreet Randhawa: 'We have been charging 5p for a bag for a year now'

Gurpreet Randhawa, owner of Bargain Booze, Llandaff North

  • Are you aware of the impending charge?

Yes, we had a leaflet sent from the Welsh Government four to five months ago.

  • Do you understand what you will have to do to comply with the levy?

Yes. Before we were told we needed to keep a record but now we don't need to because we employ less than 10 people. We have been told that by the Bargain Booze chain.

  • Is your shop ready to implement the charge?

Yes. We have been charging 5p for a bag for a year now. For the first two to three weeks there was a bit of banter from customers about it. But since then they have brought their own bags. About 70-80% now bring their own bags here, otherwise they just don't ask for a bag. Only 2-3% ask for a bag now, I'd say. So we know it can work. I think it's a good thing.

The bridal shop

Paula Watkins, manager at Absolutely Fabulous, Llandaff North

  • Are you aware of the impending charge?
Absolutely Fabulous bridal shop Paula Watkins:'We don't really deal with many bags, to be honest'

I do know about it - but mainly from shopping in Asda and seeing all the signs up. I've also heard a bit in the media. But I don't think we've received any information from the government. The owner of the shop is away at the moment, so perhaps she's received something - but as far as I'm aware we haven't.

  • Do you understand what you will have to do to comply with the levy?

No I don't. What will happen to the charges? How will they regulate it?

  • Is your shop ready to implement the charge?

As we haven't had the information, no. But we will be. I'm going to go on the website now to find out about it.

  • Have you noticed that people are already starting to use their own bags when they shop?

We don't really deal with many bags, to be honest. People only really need them for things like tiaras and shoes, which some shoppers just put in another bag. People are more conscious about the environment and we don't want to give bags out all the time.

The card and party store

Leon Deane, worker at Party Central, Llandaff North.

Party Central shop Leon Deane: 'People have all those 'bags for life'
  • Are you aware of the impending charge?

Yes.

  • Do you understand what you will have to do to comply with the levy?

Not really. This is my mother's shop and we received a little leaflet, but that's about it I think. All I know is we're supposed to charge for a bag and donate the money to charity.

  • Is your shop ready to implement the charge?

Yes, I think we're ready. I think we're going to charge the bare minimum as it's bad having to charge people for a bag. Our shop isn't like a supermarket. People take bags to supermarkets because they know they're going there to shop. But our shop has more impulse buyers - people see something in the window and just pop in.

  • Have you noticed that people are already starting to use their own bags when they shop?

I have noticed more people, definitely. People have all those 'bags for life'.

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