The Card Factory is avoiding the levy on plastic bags by offering handleless ones to customers.
A spokesperson for the retailer said “The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that not charging for bags without handles complies with the regulations as they stand.
An employee at the greeting card specialist added that the The Card Factory has simply been cutting the handles off bags in order to make them fit with this regulation.
Since the introduction of the plastic bag tax in England in October, thousands of plastic bags have been stolen from stores. According to a survey by Voucher Codes Pro, 51% of a group of 2,784 residents admitted to stealing them in the last three months. £26.7m worth of carrier bags have supposedly been stolen since October in England.
“As stated in our guidance, you must charge at least 5p a bag for carrier bags that are all of the following: unused – it‘s new and hasn‘t already been used for sold goods to be taken away or delivered, plastic and 70 microns thick or less, it has handles, an opening and isn‘t sealed,” a Defra spokeswoman said.
Many retailers have made substantial savings since the tax was introduced. Tesco claims that the number of single plastic bags used by customers has fallen by 78% since the levy was introduced, whilst the number of ‘bagless‘ online deliveries has risen by 50%.