The 5p plastic charge was first introduced to England in October 2015. It had already been a great success in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, leading to a dramatic reduction in the amount of plastic bags used. It has had the same result in England, and there are now plans to raise the charge to 10p and extend it to small retailers who are currently exempt from charging.
Bag Charge - Key Facts for Small Retailers
- The bag charge will now apply to retailers with less than 250 members of staff.
- Expected to come into force during January 2020, but this date has yet to be confirmed.
- All retailers will have to charge 10p for each single-use plastic bag, biodegradable plastic bag and plastic bag for life carrier bag.
- They must record revenue on plastic bag sales and what you did with the revenue.
The bag charge also provides an opportunity to generate revenue, gain customer loyalty, advertise your retail business and gain some valuable PR whilst raising money for a good cause.
Sound good?! Here's how retailers can take advantage of the sales & marketing opportunities:
4 Benefits of Bag Charge for Small Retailers
1) Generate Sales Revenue by Selling Branded Reusable Shopping Bags
By adding a range of reusable bags to your product offering which can be sold at a profit, you are creating an additional stream of revenue for your business, as well as providing a service! Have them available at Point of Sale at a reasonable price. They are great for charity shops, museum, art galleries and attractions, fashion retailers and food shops.
2) Give away Reusable Bags As a Customer Gift
3) Let Reusable Bags Act as a Marketing Tool
When you give away bags to your customers and improve their customer experience, you are also helping to create brand advocates. People who will tell others how wonderful your retail outlet and products are. Word-of-mouth is one of most powerful marketing tools there and is the holy grail of marketeers.
4) Team Up With a Worthy Cause and Raise Awareness
You could sell co-branded reusable bags with all profits going to your chosen charity. You might also want to organise some in-store events with all proceeds being donated. Which type of event will depend on what type of retail business you manage but you will receive valuable PR, increase footfall and do a good turn all at the same time!
"As an online local food shopping hub and home delivery service the bag is something tangible that reflects what The Food Gatherer does..."
Emma Lundie, Food Gatherer
These are just a few ideas for small retailers to create sales & marketing opportunities from the plastic bag charge.