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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
4) 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.
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.
"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