Northern Ireland and Wales have already done it, and according to the BBC, Scotland may be the next country in the United Kingdom to start charging for plastic bags.
The proposed 5 pence charge (just less than a dime in the US) would apply to all single-use plastic bags in all retail stores. The revenue, which may increase if the bag charge is raised yearly, would be donated to charities.
The Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead is quoted as saying,
"Carrier bags are a highly visible aspect of litter. By reducing the amount being carelessly discarded we can cut waste and its impact on our environment and economy. A small charge should also encourage us all to stop and think about what we discard and what can be re-used."
The government is launching a three month study on the proposed charge. More than 70% of European Union citizens would support a ban on the ubiquitous plastic bag.