Defra is 'dragging its feet' on whether England should have a carrier bag levy according to environmental campaigners.
Wales and the Republic of Ireland have introduced similar schemes to great success.
A levy is coming soon to Northern Ireland and Scotland is consulting on introducing one.
Sam Harding from the Campaign to Protect Rural England is an expert on the UK's litter problem.
She wants England to have a bag levy, where the money raised goes to charity, rather than a bag tax where the money goes to the government.
"We have been concerned by Defra's response," she explains.
"They appear to be putting more barriers to making a decision.
"Previously they said they would make a decision this year. Now they are saying they will wait and see what happens in Scotland. The only people who don’t want the levy are the people who make plastic bags."
Over the past two years, the number of carrier bags used in England has increased despite repeated government calls for retailers to reduce the numbers they give out.
Ms Harding says the Welsh experience should be enough to encourage Defra to take early action.
"After six months the number of carrier bags given out had reduced by 96%," she says.
"Research among the Association of Convenience Stores members revealed that the scheme has proved popular with retailers.
"It has not led to a drop in sales, which is what they worried about, and it has sped up checkout times."
Welsh shoppers also appear to have taken to the new policy with ease.
"In Wales it seems that consumers can remember to take bags with them when they go shopping, but not forgetting that if they happen to need a bag they're still able to buy one.
"They pay the 5p charge knowing that the money will go to charitable causes – that is the difference between the tax and the charge and that is what we want in England."
As for the big retailers, there are indications that they will back the Scottish scheme.
In June a Tesco spokeswoman told the Dumfries and Galloway Standard: "Our customers have really got behind our initiatives to cut carrier bag use by over 50 per cent, from Green Clubcard points to Bags for Life. We will approach the Scottish Government's proposals in the same positive spirit."
In less than a year, the Wales bag levy raised more than £400,000 for charity in Tesco stores alone.
Ms Harding says CPRE has written to the big retailers, who she says have "watched with interest in Wales".
The British Retail Consortium has said it wants a "level playing field" across the UK.
The proposed levy in England would apply to all carrier bags regardless of material, but there would be exemptions for food such as fish and meat where the bags are considered essential to the product.
"I wish we had the money for an ad campaign," Ms Harding says.
They will continue to raise the matter with ministers, but she wants your help too.
"Anyone who is supportive of bag campaign should contact the Secretary of State at Defra."
Last year businesses in the UK issued plastic bags at a rate of 254 a second. A total of eight billion ‘thin-gauge’ plastic bags were issued during 2011 - a 5.4 per cent increase on the 7.6 billion bags issued in 2010.
All of that net growth came from England, the only home nation not to have a single-use bag levy in place or to be actively seeking to implement one.