The 5p charge for plastic bags in large shops in England could be extended to cover nearly all retailers, as part of government plans for the environment.

Theresa May shared on Twitter: “In 2015 we introduced the 5p charge on plastic carrier bags, we now see 9bn fewer bags being used. It’s making a real difference. We want to do the same with single use plastics. Nobody who watched #BluePlanet2 will doubt the need for us to do something – and we will.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove also told a cabinet meeting that he was “determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastics encapsulate”.

in October 2015, retailers with more than 250 employees were told to charge 5p for plastic bags, this was exempt for retailers with less than 250 employees. It is believed that this may now change as the government plan to unveil its 25-year environment plan on Thursday.

According to the government since the introduction of the 5p charge on new plastic bags, in 2015 there has been a reduction of almost 90 per cent of their use.