Carry a carrier and save 5p
From 20th October, you’ll be charged at least 5p for all carrier bags, including paper and plastic bags, in all Scottish shops. That includes everything from supermarkets to takeaways and clothes stores.
So, remember to bring your own bag.
Save your pennies
Avoid the 5p charge by taking your own bags with you whenever you shop. Low-cost ‘bags for life’ are available from many supermarkets. Keep bags handy either by your front door or in the back of your car so that you don’t forget them when you go on your next shopping trip.
Did you know
Using fewer carrier bags will lead to less litter - which means a cleaner, greener Scotland for you.
Reuse your bags to stop litter blighting our beautiful landscape. Get involved and make a difference.
Make a difference
Scotland alone uses a staggering 800 million single-use bags each year. And each year, council litter collectors pick up at least 7.4 million bags from our streets and surroundings.
Carrier bag catastrophe
Plastic bags are made from oil and carbons, and are bad for wildlife and the environment. The charge includes paper and biodegradable bags too. Litter that pollutes the world's oceans and seas kills around 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals a year.
Leading the charge
Bags charges have been introduced successfully elsewhere in the UK. Since then use of new bags has dropped by 80% in Northern Ireland and 70% in Wales. Some stores already do their bit for the environment by charging for bags, and England will launch the 5p charge in 2015.
Where does the money go?
The Scottish Government is keen to see environmental protection and litter prevention good causes benefit from the carrier bag charge. So it is encouraging retailers to donate the money collected to the good cause of their choice.
Retailers can sign up to the Carrier Bag Commitment to make a public pledge about where the money goes. For further details, visit carrierbagcommitment.org.uk
Frequently asked questions
Why has Scotland decided to introduce a charge on single use carrier bags?
The Scottish Government’s decision to introduce a charge follows a public consultation which concluded that such a charge offers environmental and social benefits in line with ambitions to tackle litter and promote behaviours consistent with a zero waste society.
When will the charge come into force?
The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014 have been in force since 20 October 2014.
What will it mean for shoppers?
It will mean that all shoppers in Scotland will be charged a minimum of 5p for each single use carrier bag they take in all Scottish shops, both in-store and online, regardless of material type, except in certain agreed circumstances where exemptions are agreed.
Please read our detailed online Frequently Asked Questions.