From this morning, a 5p charge comes in for single-use carrier bags. This welcome move will encourage people to reuse bags saving energy resources. It will reduce plastic bag litter on land and in our oceans. The carrier bag charge is not a government tax. The money raised is expected to go to charity (but stores could legally keep it). Unfortunately, as is common with almost anything that comes out of Whitehall, the charge is not being introduced a straightforward way. Stores employing less than 250 employees are exempt from the charge, though many will introduce it voluntarily. It would have been much simpler to introduce the charge for all stores. And it would have been better if all bags, regardless of whether they are paper or plastic are charged.