The tax came into effect today, with proceeds going directly to the Department of the Environment.
Councillor Sara Duncan, Chair of the Lagan Valley Regional Park (LVRP) Board, said: “Plastic bags are a big threat to our environment and I welcome this levy as a way to protect our beautiful green countryside.
“I believe the majority of people will welcome this move and will be encouraged to reuse existing bags instead of purchasing new ones. And while retailers may have concerns, I believe the greater environmental gains will outweigh any concerns this move will bring.
“Discarded plastic bags are not only an eyesore, but also an environmental hazard which are harming animals and countryside. Hopefully money gained from this levy can be put back into to growing and protecting Northern Ireland.”