Single Use Carrier Bag Charge (Scotland) Regulations

Zero Waste Scotland (LTD) data capture, storage and use statement

In 2014, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation that requires all retailers (food and non-food) in Scotland to charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag1 (including paper, those made from some plant based materials and plastic). The regulations are in effect from the 20th October 2014.

To support the introduction of the carrier bag charge, Zero Waste Scotland has developed an online reporting portal2 for the voluntary submission of retailer data as part of the Carrier Bag Commitment. The following statement sets out the principles that Zero Waste Scotland will follow when managing data submitted using the portal.

The role of Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland supports the voluntary collection of data via the portal and the reporting of that data to support the carrier bag regulations. This will help all stakeholders to monitor changes in the supply of chargeable/single-use bags to customers in Scotland. With respect to data submitted, Zero Waste Scotland will follow the broad principles below:

  • To keep all confidential data secure;
  • To analyse and report all carrier bag data as accurately and objectively as possible

Confidentiality and reporting

Data is submitted voluntarily to the carrier bag portal by individual companies and trade associations. There is no monetary charge when submitting data to the portal. Zero Waste Scotland and its staff have access to the submitted data and will use the information provided for the purposes of measuring impacts of the law and reporting to the Scottish Government. The enforcement authority for the Regulations (Local Authorities) will also have access to the data.

Zero Waste Scotland (LTD) is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller (Reference ZA054695) and aspire to maintain the highest standards of data protection expected by data protection law. The law requires Zero Waste Scotland to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.

It is the responsibility of all Zero Waste Scotland employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible. Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Personal data captured will be held only for as long as is necessary to fulfil the obligations of reporting and will not be used for any other means without explicit consent from the individual.

Submitted data

Following consultation with retailers, data can be submitted at individual store, region or Scotland-wide company or trade association level. Additionally, signatories are able to submit data weekly/monthly/quarterly or annually.

Designated Zero Waste Scotland staff can access data at all levels for the specific purpose of quality assurance and compiling aggregated figures. All data viewed and extracted by Zero Waste Scotland staff will be held and treated in strictest confidence and not disclosed to third parties except in an aggregated form.

The portal also provides a standard public report that can be viewed by everyone. The information in the public report is aggregated to whole company/trade association figures and is summarised below:

  • Year;
  • Company or trade association;
  • Number of chargeable bags sold;
  • Total donated to good causes;
  • Organisation name(s) for good causes;
  • Number of polyethylene bags for life sold;
  • Number of other reusable bags sold;

Zero Waste Scotland will not publish or distribute individual company data other than in the standard report described above. Publication of the aggregated data for Scotland will be agreed with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders.

Further information

If you have any further questions regarding the carrier bag portal please contact Zero waste Scotland on 0808 808 2268 and ask to speak to the project manager for the carrier bag charge. For a copy of Zero Waste Scotland’s full Data Protection Policy Statement please email

1 More detailed guidance on the carrier bag charge can be found at

2 The portal is an online database designed to be used by retailers that have chosen to submit data on single use carrier bags

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