I refer to the letter from David Tyson (25 February), which refers the carrier bag charge and a “U-turn by the Scottish Government, excluding butchers from the charge”.
This information is incorrect. It is stated in the carrier bag charge legislation that retailers are not obliged to charge for bags used to contain unpackaged food items, which includes food items supplied in containers or bags which are not secure enough to prevent fluid leaking during normal handling.
This applies to packaged uncooked meat or poultry products. This exemption has been in place since the regulations came into force on 20 October, 2014.
The Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association contacted Zero Waste Scotland and the Food Standards Agency to request a clarification of this exemption, to ensure that our members were aware of their requirements.
This clarification was provided, and this guidance was sent to members on the 5 February.
The carrier bag charge was introduced to reduce the number of single-use bags in circulation and ending up as litter, and early indications show that the charge has been a success with some retailers experiencing reductions of between 80 and 90 per cent.
Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association
Zero Waste Scotland