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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham's John Lewis to stop selling single-use plastic bags as charge increases

The John Lewis store in Cheltenham is set to be trailing the removal of single-use bags, as the price for carriers is set to rise in England from May 21.

As part of a trial lasting 12 weeks, John Lewis department stores in Cheltenham, Kingston and Leeds will ask customers to bring their own bags or buy a reusable bag made from 100 per cent recycled material costing 50p for a medium size or 75p for a large.

John Lewis Partnership sustainability director Marija Rompani said: "It has become the norm to take our own bags when we go food shopping but we have a different mindset when shopping for clothes, beauty and home products.

"We expect our customers will be supportive of this change and will be listening to their feedback."

The scheme has been announced just weeks away from new legislation coming into force, which will see the cost of a single-use carrier bag increase from 5p to 10p for customers from May 21 and extend to all retailers.

Previously only retailers with 250 employees or more had to charge, but under the new rules all stores including corner shops and small retailers will have to.

By increasing the cost, the Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) hopes that use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70 to 80 per cent in small and medium-sized businesses.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: "The introduction of the 5p charge has been a phenomenal success, driving down sales of harmful plastic bags in supermarkets by a remarkable 95 per cent.

"We know we must go further to protect our natural environment and oceans, which is why we are now extending this charge to all businesses.

"Over the next couple of weeks I urge all retailers of all sizes to make sure they are ready for the changes, as we work together to build back greener and strengthen our world-leading action to combat the scourge of plastic waste."

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