Antrim Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther has called for more supermarkets to adopt a policy of charging for bags at checkouts.
Speaking after a visit to Junction One, Cllr Lawther stated:
“German-owned chains such as Lidl are following Germany’s lead, now also adopted in the Republic, of not giving out plastic bags for your groceries, but rather charging a few pence for each one. Shoppers still have the option, of course, of bringing their own bags in advance. This is extremely good news for the environment as most supermarket plastic bags will end up in land fill sites having been used only once and take years to break down.
“This, alongside allowing the customer to reuse the cardboard boxes in which they receive their goods to take their groceries home, is sound environmental sense.
“This is proof that it is not necessary to restrict people’s freedom in order to make progress with environmental protection. This is a policy my party wholeheartedly commends.”
With support from its two new Alliance Councillors, Antrim Borough Council is succeeding in reducing the proportion of landfill it needs and has managed to divert nearly half of its to recycling facilities.
This is a significant step towards avoiding European Commission fines for failing to reach recycling targets.
NOTES TO EDITORS
As of 2002, it has been obligatory for shops in the Republic of Ireland to charge 15 cent per plastic bag. This is a policy long-adopted across German-speaking Europe, where additionally bottle banks are commonly found in supermarkets.