Loading the content... Loading depends on your connection speed!

Quick Enquiry
Quote Basket Quote Basket is Empty
CALL US 0208 242 4468

The 10p Bag Charge: 4 Sales and Marketing Opportunities for Small Retailers

The plastic bag charge will be extended to small retailers in England in April 2021 and the price raised to 10p. This is a a big change for small retailers and there are many advantages. The bag charge provides an opportunity to generate revenue, market your brand and gain valuable PR for your retail brand.

The 10p Bag Charge: 4 Sales and Marketing Opportunities for Small Retailers

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. 

Read: 10p Bag Charge to Be Extended to Small Retailers in England

Bag Charge - Key Facts for Small Retailers

  • The bag charge will now apply to retailers with less than 250 members of staff.
  • Comes into force in April 2021. 
  • 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 they did with that revenue.  
To find out more about the carrier bag charge in England and how to comply with the law, take a look at Carrier Bag Charges - Retailers Responsibilities  This is a useful reference point for small retailers to help them prepared! 

The bag charge 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

Printed Reusable Bag - National Museum of ScotlandSince the plastic bag charge was introduced in England alone, the big seven supermarkets sold 95% less plastic bags in 2018-9 compared to 2014. And that's from supermarkets alone - these figures don't include small retailers.  Customers took 140 plastic bags per year in 2014, which is down to just 4 bags in 2019.

As consumers are using less plastic bags, they have got into the habit of carrying reusable shopping bags with them to avoid the bag charge.  But if they forget their bag or need a new one, make it easy for them to pick one up! Add a range of reusable bags to your product offering - these can be sold at a profit creating an additional stream of revenue for your business. Make them available at Point of Sale at an attractive price point so people will buy if they forget their bag.

Ideal for all kinds of retailers, including charity shops, museums, art galleries, fashion boutiques and food retailers. 
Read: Carrier Bag Charge Raises Bag for Life Use in the UK


2) Give away Reusable Bags As a Customer Gift

We all like a freebie and customers will love being given a free reusable bag. This works wells if you have a particular marketing campaign in mind such as an opening, birthday or business milestone to celebrate. A giveaway rewards your customers, improves their customer experience which results in increased loyalty, recommendations and sales.

Read: Let's Get Physical - Promotional Gifts Win the Race to Attract Customers

3) Let Reusable Bags Act as a Marketing Tool

An added bonus of selling or giving away a reusable bag to your customers, is that the big will act as a walking advertisement. A well-designed shopping bag will be used again and again, each time spreading the message about your retail business and brand. It's a low-cost way of marketing to a wider audience and helps to create brand advocates. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools there is - let your customers tell others about your retail business. 


Chartwell Cancer Trust - Printed Reusable Bags4) Team Up With a Worthy Cause and Raise Awareness

Retailers must donate revenue from carrier bags to a charity of their choice. This can be taken one step further by forming a marketing campaign or partnership with a local charity or environmental charity of your choice. 

Sell co-branded reusable bags with all profits going to your chosen charity. You could also organise in-store fundraising events like fashion show, coffee morning, entertainment or special discounts. Gain valuable PR, increase footfall and do a good turn at the same time!

The bag charge has raised more than £100 mililon for charity since it's introduction. This is a wonderful opportunity for charities to increase funding, so get creative and think how your retail business could benefit a local or environmental charity. 

Read more about Charities and Promotional Bags


These are just a few ideas for small retailers to create sales & marketing opportunities from the plastic bag charge. Bear in mind, that economy orders take around 10-14 weeks to be delivered, so leave plenty of time when you order. 

We can also supply Express orders in just 3-4 weeks, or natural fibre stock bags within just 7 days. Browse our range and click on individual products to confirm exact delivery options.

The Food Gatherer Protect the Environment & Promote Their Brand

The Food Gatherer Protect the Environment & Promote Their Brand

"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

Read our Food Gatherer Case Study to see how a small food retailer is using branded reusable bags to promote their business.   More Retail Case Studies can be found here.


« All Blog Posts