A decision on a plastic bag levy in England will be decided “sooner rather than later”, according to environment minister David Heath.

During a Parliamentary debate on plastic bag charges, the minister said that he was looking at the scheme already introduced in Wales as well as Scotland where a consultation recently took place.

“The results so far look positive,” he said. “I hope that when we have looked at the full year’s results we will see that they are very positive indeed.

“When we are clear that we have robust data, we can then base any decisions on them. We will also consider the Scottish consultation on change, which closed on 28 September, and discuss the matter with our colleagues in Scotland.”

The minister added that it was important not to rush into a scheme too quickly as the impact could be deterimental. “Such a decision will have an impact on the consumer, on retailers and on manufacturers, so we must get it right,” he said.

Welsh retailers currently charge 5p per plastic bag handed out although stores with 10 or less employees do not have to keep records. Northern Ireland recently decided upon a 5p charge from April 2013 which will rise to 10p in 2014.