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New regulation introduced in Wales has caused some confusion among traders and consumers, which could result in large penalties for some businesses. A charge on the use of carrier bags has been launched, and came into force on 1st October 2011.

The new legislation is the first of its kind, and Wales are the first UK nation to enforce the charge, at five pence per single use bag. Wales uses approximately 480 million carrier bags each year and hope the charge will help to reduce that number. The legislation applies to any bags used on or after the 1st October, reducing the amount of litter and waste and conserving resources which are limited. If any business doesn’t comply with the new legislation, a penalty of up to £5000 will be enforced, although the first three months of the scheme will see some lenience.

Although a large number of businesses and consumers are in agreement with the scheme, they don’t all understand the reasons behind it. According to a survey conducted by Cardiff University, a large number of respondents believed that the charge was purely to raise money for the government, although 70 percent of the 600 questioned were in support of the charge.

A number of traders didn’t realise that the term carrier bag applied to paper bags as well as plastic bags. It also remained unclear for some, that the funds raised were to be donated to environmental causes and charities. Business leaders remain concerned that a lack of understanding could lead to excessive penalties being received.

About The Author

Gary Fields

Content Writer working alongside our expert accountants to bring you the latest Tax and Accounting news.

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