Belfast Telegraph

No change in plastic bag charge

The plastic bag tax will not increase in Northern Ireland as planned, it was revealed.

Department of the Environment Minister Mark Durkan's department had previously proposed lifting the levy from 5p to 10p from April 2014.

However, Mr Durkan said provisional figures showing a large reduction in single use bag numbers had convinced him to drop the planned increase. The DoE said data from several major supermarkets showed a reduction in plastic bag use of over 80%.

Mr Durkan said the levy had produced "a step change" in consumer behaviour.

"Since the introduction of the five pence levy, the public have adopted a very responsible attitude and I commend them for that," he said.

"I therefore will keep the levy at five pence for the foreseeable future."

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