You will now be charged 5p for taking a carrier bag at the supermarket

The weekly shop just got even more expensive

Shops in England must now charge 5p for each plastic bag you take at the checkout.

Starting today, there will be a new cost for taking carrier bags from stores like Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

The government have brought in the stingy new law, which already exists in the rest of the UK, to try and reduce litter and help the environment.

What’s more, MPs have warned we could be treated like criminals if we take a bag at the self-checkout without paying.

We will now be charged 5p per plastic bag

We will now be charged 5p per plastic bag

Under the new laws, shops who hire more than 250 people will be forced to bring in the charges.

This means your local off-license is safe, but trips to big or local supermarkets aren’t.

Surprisingly, Environmental Minister Rory Stewart even compared avoiding the charge to shoplifting food.

And police have said that they will take a “proportionate” approach if shops report cases of plastic bag theft.

Minister Rory Stewart told The Telegraph: “Shoppers are expected to be responsible at self-checkout and not steal goods.

“Theoretically you could probably steal an apple at the self-checkout if you wanted to. There’s no difference between an apple and a plastic bag.

“You are obliged to pay five pence for your plastic bag just as you are obliged to pay for your apple. Is it shoplifting to take an apple?”


Hoarding carrier bags could become more common

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “This is a matter for retailers first and foremost.

“Should an incident be reported to the police then we would aim to adopt a proportionate and common sense approach.”

The Government expects the new law to the reduce use of carrier bags by up to 80 per cent in supermarkets and 50 per cent on the high street.

It’s also expected to save £60million in litter clean-up costs and generate £730million for good causes.