The discount greetings cards retailer recognised that the charge technically only relates to thin gauge bags with handles.
Packaging News contacted DEFRA, who confirmed the charge can only apply to bags with handles.
Its guidelines state:
You must charge at least 5p a bag (including VAT) 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
The Card Factory is still offering regular plastic bags with handles for the 5p charge, but has cut the handles off some bags to give its shoppers a free alternative.