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Scottish Conservatives call for plastic bag tax to be temporarily lifted

The Scottish Conservatives have suggested that for the next six months Scottish retailers should no longer be obliged to charge 5p for each single use carrier bag supplied with online deliveries.

The call has been made after a similar measure was announced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Scottish and UK governments have already announced a range of measures to help businesses across Scotland. This temporary relief would help protect the health and safety of customers and delivery drivers.

Rachael Hamilton, Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs secretary said that the use of plastic bags will reduce the need for drivers and householders to come into close contact with each other and will enable deliveries to be rolled out more speedily.

This would only be a temporary measure and the charge would continue for bags in-store.

The suggestion comes as the politicians and retailers continue to urge people to shop considerately and look out for their friends, family and neighbours.

Rachael Hamilton, Scottish Conservative shadow rural affairs secretary said:

“We are all beginning to understand the extent of this crisis and the multitude of measures we must put in place to get us through it.

“The temporary removal of the plastic bag tax would reduce contact between drivers and householders and speed up deliveries.

“This small measure is just a tiny piece of our response to this crisis, but is another way to help reduce infection and keep food supplies getting to people.

“Retailers are doing everything they can to keep up with demand - both UK and Scottish governments must continue to help them as much as possible.

“To that end, I recognise that we are all extremely worried at the moment but I would urge people to please shop considerately and only buy what you need.”

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