Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Northern Ireland shoppers will have to pay at least 5p for a carrier bag in two weeks time

Shoppers will soon have to fork out at least 5p for each carrier bag they use.

The charge, which takes effect on April 8, will affect all new single use bags including those which are biodegradable.

"The levy, a first for Northern Ireland, will apply to the majority of new single use carrier bags, regardless of the material from which the bag is made," said Environment Minister Alex Attwood.

"It is not just on plastic bags but other single use bags from other natural materials.

"There are still some occasions when a bag will be provided free of charge."

Bags for medication, meat and hot food will be exempt from the 5p levy as will some small bags.

"At the moment we are using around 250 million carrier bags each year in Northern Ireland and we need to cut that number dramatically to reduce environmental damage. The evidence from other countries shows that a bag levy is a very effective way of doing this. Bring your own bag and you will not have to pay the levy," the minister added.

A new video outlining the criteria for the new charge is available from the website www.nidirect.gov.uk/baglevy.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz