Carrier bag charge

Last updated: 22 July 2019

By law, all retailers in Scotland must charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag.

The law came into effect on 20th October 2014 and the aim is to encourage bag re-use and reduce the amount of litter in Scotland.

The charge applies to all single-use bags, including those made of:

  • paper
  • plastic
  • some plant-based materials

If you're a retailer

If you're a Scottish retailer, Zero Waste Scotland is helping you understand what the regulations mean for your business through their website Carrier Bag Charge Scotland.

The money raised from charging for carrier bags belongs to your business, however, the Scottish Government is keen to see this money donated to good causes.

Your business can sign up to the Carrier Bag Commitment portal to report the number of bags sold and the amount of money donated.