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Northern Ireland Bag Levy Launches 8th April

From 8 April, shoppers in Northern Ireland will be charged at least 5p for their single use carrier bags.  The move was approved by the Northern Ireland Assembly back in January in an attempt to reduce the number of single use carrier bags being use by shoppers.   As well as polythene bags, the levy will also apply to those made of paper, plant-based material and natural starch.

From Monday, retailers will be able to charge more than 5p for their carriers if they wish.  5p from the sale of each bag then goes to the Department of the Environment, to help fund environmental projects.

Although most single use carrier bags are included within the levy, certain single use carrier bags will be exempt;

  • bags used to contain take-away hot food and hot drinks
  • bags used solely to contain certain items such as unpackaged food, seeds and bulbs, axes/ knives/ razor blades, goods contaminated by soil and some medicinal products
  • bags used to carry goods purchased in an airport after you clear security
  • bags of a certain size used solely to contain packaged uncooked meat or fish
  • certain types of small bags
  • specialist bags such as mail order dispatch and courier bags

Further information about the Levy and especially, information for retailers can be found on the Northern Ireland Assembly website, at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/carrier-bag-levy


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