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The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) is welcoming the news that, from April next year, the plastic bag charge will be extended to all retailers in England.

After working alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to extend the law to smaller retailers since the initial scheme of charging 5p for plastic bags was implemented for retailers with more than 250 employees in 2015, it is a significant victory for the NFRN and its members.

The move will remove more plastic bags out of circulation, help level the playing field between small and large retailers, and independent retailers will also have the chance to donate the proceeds of the charge to local charities.

Since the initial charge was first introduced to larger retailers in 2015, there has been a 95 per cent cut in plastic sales in major supermarkets.

The announcement of the extension, together with a doubling in the charge to 10p, will drive this success even further in an additional fight against single-use plastic.

NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said: “After campaigning for the original law to be extended to smaller retailers for many years, the news comes as a fantastic win for the Federation and its members.

“Not only will the new law reduce the amount of plastic bags in circulation, which will significantly help the environment, it will also level out the playing field between small and large retailers.

“Retailers will also have the chance to donate any proceeds of the charge to local charities.”

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