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Retailers to tax plastic bag use

Retailers could be forced to charge customers a tax on plastic bags within months under new government plans.

Legislation is planned to ensure shops no longer give out single-use carrier bags, with shoppers having to pay as much as 10p per bag.

The climate change minister Joan Ruddock told The Daily Telegraph: "We hope there will be a voluntary agreement but the Waste Bill is likely to receive royal warrant in the autumn which will include mandatory charging for plastic bags."

Marks & Spencer, which imposed a 5p charge earlier this year, said it has reduced plastic bag usage by 80% last week.

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