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Scotland to charge single use carrier bags

EDINBURGH, May 29 — The Scottish Parliament has approved regulations to charge one-off carrier bags in Scotland, the Scottish government said on Wednesday.

The Single Use Carrier Bags (Scotland) Regulations 2014 stipulates that the five-pence (about 0.084 U.S. dollar) minimum charge will commence on Oct. 20 this year, said the Scottish government press release.

The purpose of the charge is to encourage shoppers to think about reusing bags to prevent litter and improve Scotland's environment, it said.

A public consultation revealed overwhelming support for the charge, which will see funds generated being donated to good causes, it added.

Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the decision, noting that "This is landmark legislation that underlines Scotland is serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy."

He called on people to reuse their bags or consider alternatives like bags for life, urging everyone to support the initiative to achieve success as in other counties, where similar measures had been brought in.

The charge is not a tax but will see retailers donating the proceeds to charity and has the potential to raise millions of pounds for good causes, including environmental projects, according to Lochhead.

Scotland currently uses 750 million bags every year, the highest number in Britain. (PNA/Xinhua)

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