The government have now introduced a 5p charge on single-use plastic carrier bags in England from 5 October 2015. There is already a similar 5p charge on single-use bags in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All small and medium-sized (SME) businesses (up to £500M turnover and/or up to 250 employees) are exempt from the plastic bag charge in England. 70 micron (and above) multi use carrier bags are also exempt from the charge and the government is also considering exempting Biodegradable carrier bags, a decision which is expected later this year.