Shoppers will be asked to pay a 5p charge for every carrier bag taken from a shop from October next year.

The new policy aims to drive down use and tackle Scotland's "culture of waste" with 750 million carriers used every year - the highest rate in the UK.

Supermarkets and other retailers now have 90 days to lodge their views on the plans, with some major stores previously offering their support to the charge.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "The purpose of the charge is to encourage shoppers to think about reusing bags to prevent litter and combat the throwaway culture that Scotland has.

"It has been successful in other countries and I want to see a similar reaction in Scotland. It is now time for a national effort to cut the impact of carrier bags in Scotland.

"Anyone with an interest in this move now has a 90-day window to make their feelings known and ensure that they have commented on action which will tackle litter and help achieve a zero-waste society for Scotland."

The Government said the charge is not a tax with retailers expected to donate net proceeds to good causes.

Conservative environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor criticised the 5p charge. "The Scottish Government should be using a carrot rather than a stick approach," he said.

"Instead of punishing shoppers with yet another unwanted charge on their shopping bill, why not bring in an incentive scheme?

"This SNP plan will hit shoppers and businesses for millions of pounds, not to mention create an administrative headache for shops."