The Carrickfergus Councillor said: “I wish to secure a pledge from Arlene Foster that she will implement this levy when she becomes Environment Minister. Today’s initiative at Sainsbury’s is a positive one; however, the bag for life scheme is no substitute for tackling the real problem and introducing a levy.
“For years, Alliance has been campaigning for the introduction of a plastic bag charge in Northern Ireland.
“The imposition of a levy would ensure that less plastic bags are used, therefore cutting down the level of harmful; emissions used in their production.
“At the moment many households have large quantities of used plastic bags gained from supermarket shopping trips and people should re-use them.
“The emissions issues is only one aspect that the levy would reduce; it would also decrease littering because people would be less willing to discard their used plastic bags.
“The introduction of a levy would also have another massive benefit – it would raise much-needed cash for local environmental projects.
“The Republic of Ireland’s plastic bag levy cut bag usage by 90% and helped provide more than £93 million for environmental initiatives. These findings illustrate that the creation of such a levy by the Assembly would have an extremely positive impact on the environment.”