Bag usage drops 71% in Northern Ireland

PRW

Published: August 28, 2014 10:41 am ET
Updated: August 28, 2014 10:46 am ET

Image By: Department of Environment Mark Durkan, environment minister for Northern Ireland.

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Sustainability, Europe

A shopping bag fee in Northern Ireland has resulted in a 71.8 percent reduction in bag numbers in its first year of operation.

The 5 cent levy was introduced in April 2013 and statistics for the year to 31 March 2014 indicate that 84.5 million single use bags were dispensed by retailers across Northern Ireland compared with around 300 million bags in the prior year.

The Northern Ireland Department of the Environment (DoE), which released the statistics, said: “These indicate that the people of Northern Ireland have embraced the carrier bag levy by reducing their consumption of single use bags dramatically.”

The fee had net proceeds of 4.17 million pounds ($6.9 million), which will be directed at local environmental projects.

There was an upward trend in bag usage from 19.4 million in its first quarter (April 2013 – June 2013), and 21.6 million in second quarter (July 2013 – September 2013), and 24 million in the third quarter (October 2013 – December 2013).

The DoE said the rise during the third quarter may be due to seasonal variation between the summer and Christmas, when, “tourists and shoppers were caught without a bag.”

The usage number dropped to 19.5 million during the final quarter of the first year.

“This evidence suggests that the introduction of the levy has reinforced earlier voluntary efforts by both retailers and shoppers to reduce substantially the negative environmental impact of carrier bag consumption by avoiding the unnecessary use of single use carrier bags. These previous efforts had already reduced single use bag numbers from an estimated 425 million bags in 2006/7.”

The statistics were compiled from data supplied by 3,189 retailers in Northern Ireland. DoE said a small proportion of businesses have not yet registered in connection with the levy, but it believes these businesses typically do not dispense single use bags.

In reference to the levy proceeds, DoE said it has allocated revenue back into the local community through the Challenge Fund resulting in a final spend of 2.3 million pounds ($3.8 million). It said more than 250 environmental projects were supported in the past year. In addition, 1.1 million pounds ($1.8 million) has been allocated to the Natural Heritage Grant, Sustainability Innovation Fund and Local Clean-up Support.

“The community pays the levy, and I will ensure that the community gets the benefit of the levy,” said environment minister Mark Durkan, according to a BBC report.

A second phase of the Northern Ireland bag levy starts on Jan. 19 when the 5 pence levy will be extended to all new carrier bags, including reusable bags, that cost less than 20 pence (33 cents). This is intended “to encourage shoppers to reuse all types of bags and protect the environment,” DoE officials said.


Comments

Bag usage drops 71% in Northern Ireland

PRW

Published: August 28, 2014 10:41 am ET
Updated: August 28, 2014 10:46 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

LG Hausys pulls out of Russian PVC profile market

January 30, 2015 11:17 am ET

LG Hausys Ltd., the building and decorative materials offshoot of South Korean giant LG Chemical Ltd., is pulling out of PVC window profile...    More

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

Chemtrusion, Mytex Indiana compounding plant set for expansion

January 29, 2015 1:35 pm ET

Japanese and American partners in a compounding plant in Indiana plan to expand the facility.    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it...    More

Image

Piovan buys majority stake in Italy's Penta

January 28, 2015 12:04 pm ET

Italian auxiliary equipment company Piovan SpA has acquired a majority stake in the Italian materials handling company Penta srl, based in Poggio Rena...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events