Alliance wants pledge on plastic bag levy from future Environment Minister

Alliance Environment Spokesperson Cllr Stewart Dickson has stated that the future Environment Minister Arlene Foster should pledge to introduce a levy on plastic bags, when she takes office on 8 May. He also praised Sainsbury’s ‘free bag for life’ initiative which takes place today, but said that it is no substitute for introducing plastic bag levy.

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.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *