Retailers in Wales could face mandatory charges on all types of carrier bags under plans to extend the current regulations.
At present Welsh retailers are required to levy a 5p charge on single use carrier bags such as plastic bags, with proceeds voluntarity donated to local charities.
However, the Environment (Wales) Bill proposes increasing the scope of the regulations to include all types of carrier bags, such as ‘bags for life’, and introducing a mandatory requirement for retailers to donate the proceeds to charity.
Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: “The current carrier bag charging regulations have been a great success, dramatically reducing the usage of single use carrier bags whilst also giving retailers the opportunity to donate to charitable causes on a voluntary basis.
“Making charitable donations mandatory and extending the charge to bags for life will serve only to increase administrative burdens on retailers.”
The Bill also proposes giving Welsh ministers further powers to require that different types of waste are separated before collection by retailers.
“Retailers already have recycling procedures in place, so introducing regulations in this area is unnecessary. Additionally, almost half of stores in Wales are very small (under 1000 sq ft), so additional requirements on the separation of waste will present a challenge to these retailers for whom store space is at an absolute premium,” Lowman added.