Are retailers “bagging” the carrier bag levy in England? An exploratory enquiry

Surendranath R. Jory, Abdelhafid Benamraoui*, Nnamdi O. Madichie, José L. Ruiz-Alba, Ioannis Chistodoulou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the business impact of the legislation in England requiring retailers to charge consumers for single-use carrier bags. The legislation impacts three key stakeholders – Government, retailers, and consumers. The primary focus of this study is, however, from the perspective of retailers and how this group of stakeholders may have benefitted from the charge. Retailers are using the collected revenues to promote their image in the marketplace and presenting themselves as corporate social responsible entities. For retailers, the charge provides an avenue for bolstering their carbon footprint as consumers are expected to reuse their plastic bags – i.e. the “bag for life” as they now have to pay for them. At the same time, the proceeds are helping some retailers to top up their coffers which to some extent implies that there is some misuse or abuse of the policy by retailers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Early online date9 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Sustainability
  • Carrier bag levy
  • Retailers
  • Business ethics
  • Corporate social responsibility


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