Plastic bag charge bumped up in Northern Ireland

Shoppers in Northern Ireland will soon have to pay 20p per plastic bag as ministers try to clamp down on waste. There was already a 5p levy on single use […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Shoppers in Northern Ireland will soon have to pay 20p per plastic bag as ministers try to clamp down on waste.

There was already a 5p levy on single use carrier bags which cost less than 20p. This is going up to 20p from 19 January 2015.

Today Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “We have an existing 5p levy on single use bags to prevent waste. That’s working. However, the evidence shows that sales of cheap re-usable bags have increased significantly. So we need to put a levy on them as well in order to further reduce waste.”

The minister added more than 145 local communities and organisations are to get a slice of the £1.3 million pot which comes from the 5p charge, which he announced in September 2014.

Projects range from improving access to local heritage sites, building an urban garden in Belfast, helping the Creggan Country Park in Derry tackle environmental vandalism and helping schools improve their outdoor environmental teaching resources.