30 Sep 2012
People should be given money off their shopping in a bid to cut the use of plastic bags rather than charged under proposals being forward by the SNP.
The Scottish Government wants to introduce a minimum five pence levy on every bag a customer uses at supermarkets in Scotland, with a consultation on the issue closing on Friday.
However, the Scottish Conservatives have put forward proposals where people using their own bags would be given a discount.
Instead, conscientious shoppers would not be forced to pay an extra tax on their weekly shopping, but rewarded for helping the environment.
The Scottish Conservatives are backing a scheme, currently being offered by Whole Foods Market, where customers using their own bags receive five pence off their shopping bill for each one used
The party is now urging other supermarkets to adopt similar incentive-based schemes.
Scottish Conservative environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor MSP said:
“We need to offer Scottish consumers a carrot rather than a stick, not bring in yet another tax during a tough economic climate.
“The focus should be on offering an incentive, but the Scottish Government seems determined to simply impose yet another levy on hardworking Scots.
“Some stores, like Whole Foods Market, are already doing this by offering a 5p discount on your shopping for every carrier bag you bring of your own.
“This is the kind of imaginative approach that would make the difference the SNP is seeking, without squeezing more money out of the public who are already facing a number of financial challenges.
“After spending a significant sum of money on the weekly shop, the last thing hard-pressed families need is an extra charge for being able to take that shopping home.”
Notes to editors:
The SNP announced its plans for a 5p bag tax earlier this year: