SMALL retailers in Swindon have supported plans to charge 10p for carrier bags, but called for greater manufacturer responsibility.

The environment secretary Michael Gove announced last month plans to double the 5p plastic bag fee to 10p.

Smaller retailers, who are currently exempt from the levy, supply an estimated 3.6 billion single-use bags annually.

Debbie Jenkins, co-owner of Da Paolo Café and delicatessen, gave her reaction to the plans.

"They are trying to put the onus onto small retailers," she said.

"Manufacturers need to make something that is durable but recyclable.

"Yes we all want to save the planet and save plastic, but they need to make a cheaper alternative that breaks down and doesn't float around in the ocean for the next 30 years."

The shop on Commercial Road said most customers walk into the shop, often because it's so difficult to park nearby without getting a ticket, and therefore need something durable that isn't going to break.

"It's supply and demand, if they're being supplied, people are going to buy them," added Debbie.

"We would like to see a change to paper bags, but obviously people can't carry them in the same way. We can't provide fabric bags, we're only a small retailer."

Switching over to paper bags might not work for every shop, especially if items are heavier.

Sarah Philip, from Magnum off licences in Old Town, said: "I understand why the government is trying to do it, but the other problem we have is everybody going to paper bags is quite tricky, because it won't hold three bottles of wine the same way a plastic bag will.

"We are looking at alternatives, but it's not always as straightforward as choosing between a plastic or a paper bag."

Since the 5p levy was introduced in major supermarkets in 2015 plastic bag use has dropped by 86 per cent, a decline of almost 300 million bags, equivalent to 19 bags per person compared to 140 bags since the government charge was brought in.

If the plans for a 10p charge go ahead shoppers and retailers could see it could come into force by January 2020.