Greenpeace described the move as "a small step in the right direction" but urged the government to go further. They are calling for "fast and substantial reductions on plastic pollution" beyond the problem of carrier bags.
Environment Secretary George Eustice called the UK as "a world-leader in this global effort". Appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he described the original 5p charge at large retailers as a "tremendous success" and said the increase to 10p should prompt the ban on drinks stirrers, plastic straws and cotton buds in England.
He said he had six and 10 bags for life at his home but sometimes had to buy plastic bags when he forgot them. Increasing the price of single-use carrier bags will encourage the sale and use of bags for life, he added.
In 2018, former Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the 10p increase would come into effect in 2020.
Small retailers will also have to comply to the price increase, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed.
Greenpeace have argued that plastic carriers bags are only "one part of the problem" and the government should be considering taking action on plastic bags-for-life. Greenpeace's Sam Chetan-Welsh said: "By raising the price of plastic bags again the government is taking a small step in the right direction, but by now they should be taking great strides."
Morrisons recently revealed its plans to ditch 'bags for life' and replace them with paper ones. The supermarket chain said there was evidence bags for life are being used once before being thrown away.
Scrapping plastic bags for life would save 90 million plastic bags being used each year, the equivalent of 3,510 tonnes of plastic per year.
The introduction of paper carrier bags in 2019 followed Morrisons' removal of the 5p plastic carrier bags early in 2018. Last year Morrisons removed and made recyclable 9,000 tonnes of plastic. The supermarket is on track to hit its 50% plastic reduction target by 2025, against a 2017 baseline.
Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.
You Might Also Like