New plastic bag charges come in today

Generic picture of Tesco carrier bags in a shopping trolley.

The cost of a single-use carrier bag has doubled from today. - Credit: PA

A single-use carrier bag will now set you back at least 10p as new rules came into force today.

Up to now it cost 5p and smaller retailers didn't have to charge, but now every shop will have to charge for each carrier bag given out.

The 5p levy on plastic bags was introduced in England in 2015, with the most recent figures showing the number of single-use bags distributed by large supermarkets has fallen by more than 95pc.

The average person in England now buys just four single-use bags a year, compared with 140 in 2014.

By extending the charge to all retailers, it is expected the use of single-use carrier bags will decrease by 70pc to 80pc in small and medium-sized businesses, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said: "Everyone wants to play their part in reducing the scourge of plastic waste that blights our environment and oceans."