Shoppers now charged 5p for bags

As of Monday shoppers across Scotland have been charged 5p for each use of carrier bags.

The charge covers all retailers including supermarkets, takeaways, high street shops and corner shops.

The charge applies regardless of whether the bags are paper, plastic or made from a biodegradable material.

MSPs overwhelmingly backed the move in a vote at Holyrood earlier this year.

The Scottish Government said councils picked up around 7.4 million bags a year.

The charge has been introduced to reduce the number that become litter and it is hoped that charities will reap some of the charges with Tesco planning to give the cash they raise to environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Supporters point to the fact a similar scheme reduced bag use in Denmark to just four per person per year.

However critics of the scheme say the taxman will benefit as the bags will not be VAT exempt and retailers aren’t obliged to give to good causes.