Publication - Impact assessment

The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) for the the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021.

4 page PDF

174.0 kB

4 page PDF

174.0 kB

Contents
The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment
The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021: Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment

4 page PDF

174.0 kB

The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021: Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment

CRWIA Stage 1

Screening - key questions

(Hyperlink will only work within SG)

1. Name the policy, and describe its overall aims.

Amendment to the Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Scotland) Regulations 2014[1] to increase the minimum single use carrier bag (SUCB) charge from 5p to 10p. The 2014 regulations require retailers (food and non-food) to charge a minimum of 5p for each new SUCB, with some exceptions. The charge is levied at the point of sale and applies to SUCBs made from paper, plastic, and less durable plant-based materials. The aim was to encourage behaviour change in terms of bag re-use and to reduce the visible impact of litter.

2. What aspects of the policy/measure will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?

The increase in the minimum SUCB charge from 5p to 10p would be applied across Scotland and would not target specific groups or sections of society. Since the introduction of the 5p charge, nearly all large grocery retailers, used by a majority of people, have already increased SUCB charges to 10p or more — or have switched entirely from SUCBs to bags for life (BfL), costing 10p or more — on a voluntary basis. As a result, people have already had time to adjust to such a charge. Shoppers already have, and will continue to have, the option to bring or buy a reusable carrier bag and therefore avoid repeated SUCB costs. That being the case, it is unlikely that a large majority of the population will face additional costs from this charge.

3. What likely impact – direct or indirect – will the policy/measure have on children and young people?

The evidence from Wales[2] shows that younger people are more likely to purchase SUCBs and therefore are more likely to be affected by the charge increase. This may be because they are more likely to forget to bring their reusable carrier bag to smaller food and non-food shops and for takeaways. In turn this may be due, in part, to the ad-hoc nature of visiting these venues.

As most large food retailers, with a combined grocery market share of over 90%, have already switched entirely to Bags for Life with a cost of at least 10p, it is unlikely that the SUCB charge increase will have a significant impact.

There may also be an indirect impact on children and young people, through their parents/carers. For families, who have a larger weekly shop, the price increase, if not already factored in to their budgeting, could impact upon their disposable income, which in turn could have an impact on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people.[3]

On a positive note, a key objective of the increase in SUCB is to support a reduction in litter. The evidence indicates that there is a likelihood that young people may see less litter in their neighbourhoods, especially those young people living in lower socio-economic circumstances.

4. Which groups of children and young people will be affected?

The evidence from Wales shows that younger people are more likely to purchase SUCBs and therefore are more likely to be affected by the charge increase. There is no evidence that it would affect children and young people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 more than children and young people in general.

5. Will this require a CRWIA?

No.

For the reasons set out above, and in particular because the increase in charge has already been implemented by most large retailers, we expect the policy to have a limited impact on children and young people. In fact, part of the purpose of the charge is to encourage a change in behaviour amongst people in general, including children and young people, to reduce their use of SUCB and therefore reduce the impact of littering on their environment.

CRWIA Declaration

CRWIA not required

Authorisation

Policy lead

Ginny Gardner
Head of Circular Economy Unit
Environmental Quality and Circular Economy Division

Date

17 December 2020

Deputy Director or equivalent

Don McGillivray
Deputy Director
Environmental Quality and Circular Economy Division

Date

17 December 2020


Contact

Email: circulareconomy@gov.scot