Where NI leads, England follows…..well in plastic bags anyway.

The BBC is reporting, that the Deputy PM, Nick Clegg is set to announce at the Lib Dem conference that the government plans to introduce a 5p plastic bag levy to begin after the next election.

We have had the same charge since April of this year which has achieved a remarkable 80 per cent reduction in the number of plastic bags that are used in Northern Ireland.

However the levy that is set to be implemented in England will be weaker than ours as only supermarkets will have to charge customers. The revenue from the bag levy will go to charity which does not happen here.

The situation in the rest of the UK

Wales has had a levy since 2011.

Scotland will introduce their levy in 2014.

Outside of the UK, the Irish Republic has had a plastic bag levy since 2002.

I know since it was introduced it has definitely made me think about how many plastic bags I use, but I do know others who still don’t reuse their plastic bags.

Has the bag tax made you think more about this issue or is it just another money grab by politicians?


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs