Holywood Councillor Larry Thompson welcomes bag tax

Cllr Larry Thompson
North Down Alliance Councillor Larry Thompson has welcomed the Environment Minister’s announcement that the carrier bag tax will be introduced from April 2013.

Commenting on the Environment Minister’s announcement that the plastic bag levy will be introduced from April next year, Cllr Thompson stated: “With the environmental consequences of carrier bags now well known I am glad that action is being taken in Northern Ireland to encourage people to move away from single use carrier bags. This is a positive move to clean up Northern Ireland in light of the fact that plastic bags can pose a real litter problem and a threat to wildlife, especially when digested by animals.”

Continuing, Cllr Thompson remarked: “A similar plastic bag tax was introduced in the Republic of Ireland years ago and has been extremely effective with most people now bringing their own carriers when shopping and avoiding bags which were previously offered as a matter of course even when buying small items such as a newspaper.”

Concluding, Cllr Thompson stated: “I am glad that the tax will be gradually implemented with the tax set at 5p per bag for the first year, rising to 10p in April 2014 with reusable heavy duty bags exempt from the levy during the first year. This will enable retailers to phase in the new set-up and allow shoppers to become acquainted with new ways of shopping where you bring a reusable bag with you as a matter of course. Shoppers don’t however have to wait until next year before making the move and should consider making the switch today to deliver a clean and green environment.”