Strathcarron Hospice stands to gain from plastic bag tax

Robert Patrick (left) of Patricks of Camelon with Jackie Johnson, fundraising manager at Strathcarron Hospice

Robert Patrick (left) of Patricks of Camelon with Jackie Johnson, fundraising manager at Strathcarron Hospice

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Some shoppers might be grumbling but the new levy on single-use plastic bags could provide a windfall for local charities.

Customers must pay at least five pence for each plastic or paper bag they take from shops to carry purchases under a new law that took effect last month.

It covers all shops, takeaways and supermarkets regardless of size - although the Scottish Government stated that businesses employing fewer than 10 staff are not required to keep a legal record of their carrier bag payments.

Although under no legal obligation to do so, many firms have already announced they will donate some or all of the levies they collect to charities.

Marks & Spencer in Falkirk High Street has pledged to give four out of five pence on every bag used to Strathcarron Hospice in Fankerton, while butchers Patricks of Camelon is donating the full five pence.

That news was welcomed by hospice fundraising manager Jackie Johnson, who is hoping other businesses will follow suit.

“Although customers may initially be slightly disgruntled at the new charge, I’m sure they will be delighted to know they are contributing towards the running costs of their local hospice,” she said.

“We can provide businesses with a small plaque showing their support for the hospice which they can display at their premises.”

Robert Patrick, co-owner of Patricks of Camelon, said: “Everyone in the area knows someone who has been helped by Strathcarron at some point.”