N. Ireland proposes bag tax in 2013

Andrew Smith

Published: February 7, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, Packaging, Film & Sheet

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND (Feb. 7, 1:15 p.m. ET) — The Northern Ireland Executive has revealed plans to bring in a 5 pence tax on single-use plastic bags next year.

In making the announcement Environment Minister Alex Attwood described plastic carrier bags as the “scourge of the environment.”

The proposals now have to go before the full Northern Ireland assembly before they can become law.

If accepted by the assembly Attwood proposes to double up the levy to 10 pence in 2014. There will be no charge for multi-use bags in 2013, although they will cost 10 pence the following year.

Introducing the proposals Attwood said: “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.”

Attwood argued the proposed 10 pence levy on single use carrier bags and lower-cost reusable carrier bags could bring about “significant environmental improvement”.

“However I recognize that consumers will need time to change their behavior and adjust to bringing their own bags when they shop. I therefore propose to discount the charge to 5 pence in the first year, when the levy will only apply to single-use carrier bags. This will ensure a phased approach to charging.

“I am committed to making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest and this will certainly contribute to that goal.

“One way to do that is to reduce the 160 million plastic bags that are used in Northern Ireland every year,” he added.

Attwood said 10 Northern Ireland civil service posts would be created to administer the scheme.

Following the introduction of a similar scheme in the Irish Republic the usage of plastic bags fell by 90 percent.

However the move has been opposed by some sectors of the business community.

Glynn Roberts of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) told the BBC: “We are concerned that this is a tax on hard-pressed working families and will add to the burden of red tape, particularly for small shops who will become tax collectors for this new scheme.

“It’s unclear if it is intended to discourage plastic bag use or if it is a revenue raiser. It has to do one or the other - it can’t do both.”

A similar scheme was introduced in Wales in 2011.


Comments

N. Ireland proposes bag tax in 2013

Andrew Smith

Published: February 7, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Texas consumer group urges more science in advocacy campaigns

April 17, 2014 1:35 pm ET

WASHINGTON—The Texas Consumer Association (TCA) is raising concerns about consumer advocacy campaigns against certain chemicals and plastic...    More

Spain's Cristian Lay Group buys two materials units of bankrupt LSB

April 17, 2014 11:11 am ET

Spanish industrial conglomerate Cristian Lay Group has purchased two of the bankrupt Spanish PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.    More

Image

Using social media to answer consumer questions about plastics

April 17, 2014 10:59 am ET

Plastic packaging was stoutly defended on a recent Q&A session on social media site Twitter, run jointly by the British Plastics Federation and...    More

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the...    More

Image

Polyair rebuilds from Sandy with help from Process Control

April 16, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Hurricane Sandy gutted Polyair Inter Pack Inc.'s Carlstadt, N.J., plant more than a year ago, and Brian Clawson won't soon forget the devastation.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events