£15m from bags pumped into environment

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More than £15million has been pumped into protecting our environment over the last three years thanks to the plastic carrier bag levy, head of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) David Small has revealed.

He also welcomed news that shoppers bought 5.3 million fewer carrier bags last year helping to reduce the need for landfill

“Today’s statistics showing 93.5 million carrier bags were dispensed by retailers under the scheme in 18/19, compared to 300 million bags in 2012, are very encouraging,” NIEA Chief Executive Mr Small explained.

“It clearly reflects the growing concern amongst consumers about environmental issues as well as demonstrating their desire to actively participate in protecting our environment.

“Reducing and reusing our shopping bags is one simple way for us all to play our part in conserving our natural resources and keep plastic out of landfills,” he added.

Environmental issues benefitting from the carrier bag levy include improving our air quality, increasing waste reduction, protecting sensitive sites and tackling illegal waste.

The conservation of vulnerable species and the Live Here, Love Here campaign have also benefitted.