‘Plastic bag tax’ is the future

plastic bag flying

plastic bag flyingWhen you do your weekly supermarket shop do you take a shopping bag, or even the plastic bags you were issued the week before?

It may be an idea to start doing so, not only for environmental reasons but also to look after the pennies.

After a new 5p tax on single-use carriers was announced for shoppers in Northern Ireland, perhaps Scotland and England could be next to take a leaf out of the book.

The Republic of Ireland has already implemented a similar levy, and Wales began charging this environmental tax last year, so it may only be a matter of time before all regions follow suit.

In 2014, the Northern Irish levy will double to 10p, and at the same time a 10p levy will be introduced for more durable bags, Stormont Environment Minister Alex Atwood said.

The minister explained that the 5p rate is being set in the first 12 months so that people can get used to the concept of paying for a plastic bag.

He said plastic bags are an environmental "scourge" and that other countries had already proved the levy to be a simple and effective measure which minimises the impact of carriers on the environment.

"A proposed 10 pence levy on single use carrier bags and lower-cost reusable carrier bags can bring about significant environmental improvement," Mr Atwood said.

"However I recognise that consumers will need time to change their behaviour and adjust to bringing their own bags when they shop.

"I therefore propose to discount the charge to five pence in the first year, when the levy will only apply to single-use carrier bags. This will ensure a phased approach to charging."

He added that he is "committed to making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest" in.