13.0 Summary and Recommendation
65. Option 2 is the preferred option based on the expected positive net impacts of an increase of the SUCB for society and the environment, compared with the ‘do-nothing’ baseline (Option 1).
66. An increase of the SUCB charge is expected to ensure that the reduction in SUCB use to date is maintained, and further incentivises consumers to reduce SUCB use, especially where retailers have not voluntarily increased the charge. It is also expected to increase the use of BfLs and bin liners. Overall, it is expected to lead to a net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, disamenity impacts of litter and litter clearing costs. This, however, depends on the number of times BfLs are reused.
67. Affected stakeholders include retailers, consumers, carrier bag manufacturers/distributors, government, and charitable and environmental associations. Costs of the proposed increase to the charge will be placed on retailers, consumers and carrier bag manufacturers/distributors. However, as many businesses have already switched from SUCBs to BfLs, additional cost to business is expected to be very low and retailers could recoup their costs from the charge.
68. As set out in the current Single Use Carrier Bags (Scotland) Regulations 2014, retailers may reclaim reasonable administrative, monitoring and reporting costs from the charge and will therefore not experience a net impact. The cost placed on consumers is considered an economic transfer, from consumers to charitable and environmental organisations, though retailers are not required to donate the proceeds. An increased use of BfLs and bin liners may partly offset lower demand for SUCBs, lowering the financial impact on manufacturers/distributors. Charities will benefit from the charge, as all retailers continue to be encouraged to donate net proceeds from the charge to charitable and environmental causes. UK Government tax revenue from VAT on SUCB will depend on the effects of the increase to the SUCB charge on SUCB use.