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Northern Ireland opts for plastic bag tax

A 5p tax on plastic carrier bags is to be introduced in Northern Ireland next year, an environment minister announced last week.

Alex Attwood said the 5p tax would rise to 10p by April 2014.

This is the first time a levy will be implemented on carrier bags in Northern Ireland and follows a similar move by the Republic of Ireland 10 years ago.

Attwood said: “There is no doubt that carrier bags are a scourge on the environment.

“Evidence from other countries demonstrates that a bag levy is a simple and effective means to reduce substantially the negative environmental impact of carrier bag consumption.

“A proposed 10p levy on single use carrier bags and lower cost reusable carrier bags can bring about significant environmental improvement.”

He added: “I fully recognise that this new levy will be of great relevance to many consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland. People can get detailed information of arrangements for implementation on the Rethink Waste NI website.

“The website will be updated and extended, as the details of the carrier bag levy are developed.”

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