The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has launched an e-petition calling on the government to include independent retailers in England’s carrier cag levy.

The 5p levy is due to come into force in England in autumn 2015. However, it only applies to businesses with more than 250 employees.

The exclusion has been branded unnecessary by the NFRN, the Association of Convenience Stores and the British Retail Consortium. The Federation of Small Businesses had initially backed the proposals but in June made a u-turn.

The NFRN said it was disappointed that following a debate on the levy last week, the government had not changed its position.

“We believe that all retailers, however small, should be included in the forthcoming legislation,” said NFRN CEO Paul Baxter.

“Bringing forward a levy with so many caveats will only lead to confusion and will not result in having the impact we have seen in other countries for the environment.”

The NFRN’s e-petition can be viewed here.