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5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out

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The 5p charge on plastic bags to be introduced in October faces accusations that it will confuse customers - and doubtless lead to arguments at the checkout.

 

The charge is being introduced as part of a government policy to reduce waste by cutting bag use by up to 80 per cent in supermarkets and by half on the high street, with the aim of reducing litter and protecting wildlife.

 

The new rules are likely to baffle shoppers and cashiers alike, as till operators will be the ones to decide whether the charge must be paid.

 

But before they charge you, they have to ensure the bag ‘qualifies’ as a bag.

The government has issued guidelines defining what a plastic carrier bag is: it must be made of plastic, be unused, have handles and be 70 microns thick or less.

 

Cashiers must then check if the items in your shopping qualify for a free plastic bag.

 

Guidelines issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) note that you can receive a free plastic bag if your shopping includes items from a long list of exemptions, including: uncooked fish, meat and poultry products, unwrapped blades and “live aquatic creatures in water”.

Also included are flowers, bulbs, potatoes and prescription drugs.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rules-on-5p-plastic-bags-likely-to-lead-to-arguments-at-the-check-out-10478570.html

 

 

You won't get charged for plastic bags that are:

 

  • for uncooked fish and fish products
  • for uncooked meat, poultry and their products
  • for unwrapped food for animal or human consumption - for example, chips, or food sold in containers not secure enough to prevent leakage during normal handling
  • for unwrapped loose seeds, flowers, bulbs, corns, rhizomes (roots, stems and shoots, such as ginger) or goods contaminated by soil (such as potatoes or plants)
  • for unwrapped blades, including axes, knives, and knife and razor blades
  • for prescription medicine
  • for live aquatic creatures in water
  • woven plastic bags
  • for goods in transport, such as at an airport or on a train, plane or ship
  • considered as sealed packaging for mail order and click-and-collect orders (regardless of handles)
  • returnable multiple reuse bags (bags for life)
  • used to give away free promotional material
  • used for a service but there’s no sale of goods, such as dry cleaning or shoe repairs

A bag can contain multiple items from this list and not incur a charge. However, if the bag contains other items then you must charge. For example, you wouldn’t charge for a bag containing an unwrapped blade and unwrapped loose seeds, but adding a box of cornflakes means you’d have to charge.

 

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrier-bag-charges-retailers-responsibilities

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One way to get round it, put the allowed things in the bag, rest back in the trolley, pay the bill then walk away and add the rest away from the till...are they going to chase you and demand the 5p for the bag?

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If you did that then I cannot see you being chased, why would they. They have complied with the law. What you do with the bags after you leave the payment point is up to you


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We've been paying it for donkeys :)

No seen a boxing match at the checkout for a while.


 
 

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One way to get round it, put the allowed things in the bag, rest back in the trolley, pay the bill then walk away and add the rest away from the till...are they going to chase you and demand the 5p for the bag?

 

In some supermarkets, yes as its a government charge. None of it goes to the retailer.


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This is nothing new from the Conservative Government

 

We have had carrier bag charges here in Northern Ireland since April 2013

 

No one complains and is an accepted norm now if you do not have your own bag

 

It is 5 pence at the checkout for a plastic supermarket type bag or 15 pence one of those sturdy carrier bags where the handles do not break.

 

It is a Government tax

Edited by obiter dictum

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It is a Government tax

 

Not in England it isnt. The government does not see ANY of the 5p and therefore cannot be by definition a tax :p


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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Agreed, but i am talking about Stormont, not Westminister though

 

We do not have the poll tax, welfare reforms etc.

 

One of the ways that we pay for essential services is through this carrier bag tax etc

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There is thread - linked below - also discussing carrier bags and the environmental impact .

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?431630-Carrier-bags/page5


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I don't quite understand why the making of plastic carrier bags cant simply be banned ? Make bags from recycled paper.

 

http://www.eco-ethical.co.uk/plasticbag.html


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If the stores wanted to put a stop to this all they have to do is promise to give all of the money to the National Rifle Association of america and people would be so insensed it would be killed off in a trice.

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I predict there will be a brief period of "fuss".

 

Within a year, taking bags with you to go shopping will become the norm, and people will forget they ever didn't.

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Ocado are giving 5p back for every bag you return to them, even if it's not their bag. I use Ocado and they have always taken back the bags for recycling and now they are paying for them too. So I can pay 5p at sainsburys and get it back from Ocado up to £4.50 per delivery. Might start my own collection point.

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Ocado are giving 5p back for every bag you return to them, even if it's not their bag. I use Ocado and they have always taken back the bags for recycling and now they are paying for them too. So I can pay 5p at sainsburys and get it back from Ocado up to £4.50 per delivery. Might start my own collection point.

 

I think if you start taking back loads, they might suddenly discover they have a limit per person/visit.


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I don't think this charge will make much difference. A small number of people who like to moneysave will ensure they bring their own bags, but many will just pay.

 

I'd rather there was just no plastic bags provided at all. Have fabric bags for sale at the till at whatever they cost. People would soon be bringing their own bags.


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No-one's mentioned the rather important point that in England the legal requirement to charge 5p only applies to large companies - over 250 staff. Smaller companies don't have to charge but can do so voluntarily. One of my local corner shops says it is going to charge from Monday, none of the others have said anything about it.

 

Although there's a list of exemptions quoted in post #1 that only means that the store doesn't have to charge for those bags. It doesn't mean they can't charge - customers don't have any legal right to a free bag for the exempted items. The notice in my local Tesco just says they'll be charging for all bags from Monday, presumably to avoid the hassle of having to decide at the checkout whether what you're buying falls within the exemption.

 

It'll be interesting to see what supermarkets do about charging for bags at the self-service checkouts they've been busily installing and trying to get us to use. They're supposed to "make every effort to ensure that [they are] charging for self-checkout bags", whatever that means in practice.

 

What happens to the money? It doesn't go to the government, it's the retailer's money BUT the government "expects" the retailers to donate the money to charitable causes. Employers of over 250 staff have to make an annual return to the government of how much they collected from the 5p charge and where the money went. The government will publish this, with the thinly veiled threat to name and shame any retailer who keeps the money. But smaller shops don't have to make any return to anyone so presumably can keep the money with impunity if they choose to.

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It'll be interesting to see what supermarkets do about charging for bags at the self-service checkouts they've been busily installing and trying to get us to use. They're supposed to "make every effort to ensure that [they are] charging for self-checkout bags", whatever that means in practice.

 

Well according to this article the Environment Minister says that if you don't pay for a plastic bag at a self-checkout it's shoplifting and the police could be called. I liked the straight-faced comment from the Police to this suggestion: "Should an incident be reported to the police then we would aim to adopt a proportionate and common sense approach". Which I think is police-speak for "you've got to be joking"...

 

Unsurprised to see that although retailers are being"expected" to donate all the money from carrier bags to charity the Treasury feels under no such obligation for the VAT it will receive. It's keeping all the VAT from the 5p charge. About £12 million I reckon.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/11908754/Carrier-bag-charge-failing-to-pay-5p-levy-no-different-from-stealing-food-says-minister.html

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"

There are other ways to avoid paying the 5p charge for plastic bags. You can be given a plastic bag at the till if you're purchasing uncooked fish, meat or poultry products, unwrapped blades. Takeaways, unwrapped food, loose seeds and flowers and unwrapped blades are included in the list too.

"

 

Can be but won't. The clerk will just say "would you like a bag?" and add it to the bill before sorting out the contents where those products might be hidden underneath the rest. And it's not like people will have the wherewithal to argue over it anyway. I think tesco said they won't be giving out free bags for any reason to avoid confusion since someone can have 9 items that qualify for a free bag but have 1 that doesn't and that's all that's needed for the qualification to fail.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/11908754/Carrier-bag-charge-failing-to-pay-5p-levy-no-different-from-stealing-food-says-minister.html

Shoppers will be allowed to take a free plastic bag for raw meat or loose vegetables, but will have to pay if they put another, packaged item into the same bag. Mr Stewart defended the scheme, saying: “The reason we don’t allow mixing in a bag is you could then just buy one apple, pop it in your bag with your other groceries and get a free bag.”

He said: “If you have got your apples and you put them in a bag on their own, that would be something you could get for free. If you have a wrapped packaged item in the bag with it, no.”

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It'll be interesting to see what supermarkets do about charging for bags at the self-service checkouts they've been busily installing and trying to get us to use. They're supposed to "make every effort to ensure that [they are] charging for self-checkout bags", whatever that means in practice.

Everywhere I've been there are no more plastic bags at the self-checkouts, you have to ask for one and the assistant will scan it through before handing it over to you.

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I bought steak and a few other bits in Tesco. They went to scan the bag and I told them I had fresh meat. They said that it only applies if the steak is in the bag on its own with out anything else. I told them I would carry everything else, they laughed and scanned the bag anyway. I wasn't going to make a fuss over 5p.

 

P.S. Does the money actually go to charity from Tesco?

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Everywhere I've been there are no more plastic bags at the self-checkouts, you have to ask for one and the assistant will scan it through before handing it over to you.

 

As I have also seen,

Yet the self service checkout still ask at the start

Using your own bags?

Answer yes

You then use your bags and at the end it says 'how many bags' (some stores gave green points for bags used)

You type in 1 or 2 - the number of your own bags you used

You are then charged for them @ 5p each.

 

Tesco and Morrisons systems do this.


I express my honestly held opinions - they are nothing more or less than that.

... Its just doing some due diligence that makes them seem unusual ...

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Twice already since the charge came in I've had the 5p rung up in small shops without them asking if I wanted a bag and they've got pretty snotty when I've told them to remove the charge because I don't want the bag. I don't mind them charging even if they are exempt but I do think they should make it clear they're doing so. The local corner shop (family run, about six employees) had a notice up claiming they had to charge to comply with the new regulations and they started putting everything in bags when they didn't before - naughty.

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I would be happy to pay 5p per new bag if they were happy to pay me 5p for every old one I reused.

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The 5p charge on plastic bags to be introduced in October faces accusations that it will confuse customers - and doubtless lead to arguments at the checkout.

 

You won't get charged for plastic bags that are:

 

  • for uncooked fish and fish products

 

Are frozen fish fingers cooked or uncooked ? They're certainly a fish product.

Edited by pmailkeey
Incomplete quote ending

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