Additional Tax for Plastic Bags in Northern Ireland Comes into Effect

Plastic bags are a major part of waste plastic that causes white pollution the environment and many countries have carried out the policy of “ban on free plastic bags”, which means people cannot get free plastic bags after shopping any longer and is a big news for the plastic industry.


However, without a good waste management, this ideas haven’t been carried out thoroughly in China, while in some foreign countries and areas, this ban is really a good way to reduce waste plastic. Northern Ireland is just a case in point.

Since the release of the “ban on free plastic bags” in Northern Ireland, people who need plastic bags should pay additional tax for them, which has resulted in a great reduction in the using amount of plastic bags in this area.


In order to control the usage of plastic bags and protect the environment in an effective way, Northern Ireland proclaimed officially in April, 2013 that each plastic bag would be added the additional tax of 5 pennies.

The Environmental Management Bureau of Northern Ireland has declared in a report that the annual amount of plastic bags used before April, 2014 was about 84,500,000, which has decreased a lot compared with the number of at least 30 billion counted before the ban.


Spokesman of the Bureau said that this statistic has sufficiently indicated the great determination of Irish people to support the plan of collecting additional tax for the plastic bags, and that there are great increases in people’s concept of environmental protection.

It is reported that the additional tax collected from the plastic bags during the last year has been used to run the environmental projects, with the total amount of 4,170,000 Pounds.


The using amount of plastic bags also fluctuates according to the changes of seasons and holidays. Statistics show that people would use more plastic bags in summer and holidays. For example, the total amount of plastic bags reached about 21,600,000 in the summer of 2013, while the lowest number in spring was only 19,400,000.


It is quite satisfying that the plan of collecting additional tax receives such good result in the early stage. In the next stage, the 5-penny-additional-tax will be collected from all kinds of plastic bags, including the recyclable plastic bags, which are actually the materials the plastic recycling companies want.