There was extensive coverage of the new 5p charge on the day of its introduction in England, October 5, 2015, and in the run-up to the day. There was much comment on the unnecessarily complicated English regulations, which were unfavourably compared to the much more comprehensive legislation in other parts of the UK, where small shops and paper bags are included.

October 5, Greener Kingston comments: "It's good to have a charge at last and we hope that it will substantially reduce litter and other environmental damage. But the Government has given no good reason for the complex and far from comprehensive system being introduced in England today. Everyone agrees that plastic bags, whatever size of retailer is giving them out, are harmful to the environment and most people are aware that paper bags are wasteful too - so why not charge for them all? Smaller shops want to join in, but they need to be sure that all shops will. It worked in other parts of the UK, why not in England?"

See some recent media coverage and comment below: 

BBC: “Many shoppers in England will have to pay 5p for plastic carrier bags from Monday in a bid to slash the 7.6 billion handed out every year. England is the last part of the UK to start charging for bags… 

Daily Mirror: “Plastic bag tax could cause supermarket chaos with confused shoppers and longer queues” 

The Guardian:“How will the plastic bag charge affect me?” 

The Independent: “Plastic bag tax: It's here, and it's green, but retailers will decide where the money goes. The Government? No. Local communities? No again. It’s the retailers themselves which will choose the beneficiaries – and how much of the millions raised to keep for themselves…” 

The Independent: “Small shops to charge 5p for plastic bags despite being exempt from new rules making the fee compulsory. Independent retailers see it as an opportunity to bond with customers by helping the environment and giving money raised to charity…”

The Independent: “This is why getting rid of plastic bags is a very good thing…”

The Independent: “Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out. The government has issued guidelines defining what 'qualifies' as a plastic bag.”