The 10p plastic bag charge comes into effect today and is estimated will cost shoppers over £1 billion

As the 10p plastic bag charge comes into effect today, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has calculated the increased rate will cost consumers £1.03 billion over the next decade.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:00 am

As well as the 10p levy itself, shoppers face hidden costs like the increased use of paper bags and VAT paid on the charge. Together this is estimated to add around £45 to the cost of living for each household.

The charge, which was previously 5p and restricted to large retailers with over 250 employees, now applies to all shops in England from today.

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All shops will have to charge 10p for bags

Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "While the charge has helped cut down the use of carrier bags, it’s still shoppers paying the price.

“Moving on from plastic bags will bring many benefits, but politicians cannot pretend this hasn’t hiked the cost of living for hard-pressed households.

“The move to online shopping during the pandemic may do more for cutting carrier bag use than this new 10p charge.”

​In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.