Plans for the 5p carrier bag charge to be extended to all shops are long overdue, retailers have told Retail Express.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced the extension to the measure earlier today as part of the Government’s 25-year plan to tackle avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Shops with more than 250 full-time employees have had to charge 5p per bag since October 2015, though some convenience retailers have voluntarily introduced a charge and donated the profits to charity to avoid confusion.

Sam Coldbeck of Wharfedale Premier in Hull, said the charge should have been introduced in every store from the start.

“It puts us on a level playing field and means the consumer isn’t getting a mixed message. Retailers should be required to donate the profit of the charge to charity and retailers that don’t should be named and shamed,” she told Retail Express.

Raj Claire of Queen Margaret Londis in Glasgow, said: “We’ve had our own charge for a few years. You will be amazed how many people just bring a bag now.”

Other independent retailers are even ahead of the supermarkets.

Sunder Sandher, of S&S One Stop in Leamington Spa, Conventry, said: “We stopped carrier bags a few years ago and only sell bags for life. Most customers now come in with a bag for life and we waste zero carrier bags.”