Information for retailers

Since the 20th October 2014 retailers have not been able to give away single use carrier bags of any type free to customers.  You are required by law to charge your customers a minimum of 5p for each new single use carrier bag they take (although you can charge more than 5p if you wish).  The bag charge applies not only to carrier bags provided in-store but also to online retailers based in Scotland.


The Scottish Government is keen to see the money generated by the bag charge distributed by retailers to charitable good causes, particularly those focused on tackling litter and its environmental impacts.


I’d like to register an interest in donating my bag charge proceeds to Keep Scotland Beautiful

To register your interest in donating your proceeds from the bag charge to Keep Scotland Beautiful please email donate@keepscotlandbeautiful.org with your contact details including: shop name; Owners/Managers name; shop address; e-mail address; telephone number; type of business; and how you heard about us.


Once we have received your message we will get in contact with you to ask if you would like a Certificate of Participation that you can display in store.  We will also make contact to discuss how we can work with you to promote your contribution to our work in your local area.  You’ll be given a unique identification number to use when you make a donation.


We would also urge you to sign the voluntary Carrier Bag Commitment.


I’m ready to donate my bag charge proceeds to Keep Scotland Beautiful

To make a donation simply visit our Virgin Money Giving page where you can donate by Credit or Debit card and Paypal.  If you would prefer to pay by cheque, these should be made payable to ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ and posted to: Keep Scotland Beautiful, Glendevon House, Castle Business Park, Stirling, FK9 4TZ


Please ensure you include the name of your business and your identification number so that we can thank you and send you a Donation Certificate to display in store.


What retailers are covered by the bag charge?

All retailers regardless of type or size are required to charge for single use carrier bags. This includes supermarkets, clothing shops, off licenses, pharmacies, fast food restaurants and takeaways.


What bags are covered by the bag charge?

All single use carrier bags – including plastic, paper, natural starch or plant based material (other than cotton, flax, hemp, jute or sisal) – that are not designed for multiple reuse are covered by the bag charge.


There are a limited number of exemptions from the bag charge where you are not required to charge for a new single use carrier bag - this includes food safety, hygiene, animal welfare, public safety and the supply of prescriptions and other medicines. Further details can be found on the Zero Waste Scotland Website.


Can I have a collection container to collect the money?

Unfortunately, collecting money via a public collection container is considered to be a public donation and the regulations covering the bag charge stipulate that the money has to come direct from the retailer not via a collection from the public. Find out more about the Regulations


Can I Gift Aid my donation?

Gift Aid can only be claimed on gifts of money from individuals, sole traders or partnerships. Donations of money from a company do not qualify for Gift Aid. Find out more about Gift Aid here.


What work are you doing in my area?

Our initiatives are estimated to reach at least one in five people across Scotland. Find out more about how we make a difference here.


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