Charges for supply of carrier bags
181.Section 88 enables the Scottish Ministers to make detailed provision, by regulations, requiring persons supplying carrier bags to take goods away to charge for those bags, and requiring that the net proceeds of such charges be applied to environmental good causes. Some of the detail which may be included in the regulations is specified in subsection (2), but without prejudice to the generality of the power in subsection (1).
182.Subsection (2)(c) provides a power to specify the carrier bags in respect of which a charge would have to be made. This could be used to exempt certain bags, for example where Ministers were satisfied that they were likely to be re-used rather than quickly becoming waste.
183.The amount of the charge is to be fixed, and may be varied, by regulations. The charge is to be levied, not by central or local government, but by the supplier of the bag to which the regulations may apply. Subsection (2)(a) to (c) provide that the regulations may apply the charge to particular kinds of goods, or bags, or suppliers of goods. Subsection (2)(e) enables regulations to provide a mechanism for the calculation of the net proceeds of the charge.
184.Subsections (1)(b) and (2)(f) would allow Ministers to ensure that the net proceeds were spent on broadly environmental purposes, and to define those purposes in more detail if that was thought necessary (such as specifying that funds raised were to be spent in Scotland). It is very likely that a system of enforcement, including offences and penalties, would be required to ensure that charges were levied, appropriately accounted for, and devoted to appropriate causes, but this would be a matter for the regulations.