NI offers £400k from plastic bag charge for green projects

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister has announced £400,000 of funding raised from the plastic bag charge will go towards local environment projects. Michelle McIlveen said non-profit organisations can apply to receive part […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister has announced £400,000 of funding raised from the plastic bag charge will go towards local environment projects.

Michelle McIlveen said non-profit organisations can apply to receive part of the Challenge Fund in order to finance green projects and boost civic pride.

The 5p charge was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2013. In the UK it has seen the use of plastic bags from supermarkets steadily fall.

Ms McIlveen said: “The Challenge Fund is one of a number of mechanisms by which the proceeds of the carrier bag levy are reinvested in the environment. This funding of £400,000, with potentially further support later in the year, will enable local communities, schools and voluntary organisations to undertake small-scale projects to improve the environment and deliver environmental education.”

She added it could be used to tidy and renovate shared public spaces or be given to schools to provide learning opportunities where children and young people can engage with nature.

So far, more than £4.6million from the Challenge Fund has enabled almost 600 environmental projects to be carried out.

Sustainability will be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London next week. Find out more here and join in the debate using #EL2016.