Plans to charge shoppers for carrier bags must be postponed until businesses have time to adapt to forthcoming waste regulations, a small business body has warned.
The Scottish Government launched a public consultation on a range of proposals including charging at least 5p for a disposable bag, with proceeds going to charity.
The move is part of an aim to reduce litter and protect the environment.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said retailers and other businesses will have to start complying with new rules from 2014 which mean they will have to find new ways to sort, store and dispose of rubbish and recyclable materials.
The FSB, which represents around 20,000 members, said most businesses are unaware of these changes and called a single-use bag levy a "frivolous distraction".
Andy Willox, FSB Scottish policy convenor, said: "Successfully implementing planned new waste rules will be a huge challenge for government and businesses and will require big changes by small businesses.
"A mandatory bag charge, recognised as primarily symbolic by the Scottish Government, seems like a frivolous distraction.
"Independent retailers distribute a small proportion of the total number of single-use bags requested by customers on an annual basis. The proposed rules on bags should be postponed until these same businesses have had a chance to adapt to Scotland's biggest ever shake-up in the field of business waste.
"In the mean time, if the Scottish Government still regards plastic bag distribution as a key problem, they should start with the businesses which distribute the vast majority - namely the supermarkets and the large multiples."