Plastic bag charge raises over £2m to environmental projects in NI

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ENVIRONMENT Minister Edwin Poots has announced that 24 green projects across Northern Ireland will share £2.2m generated by the carrier bag levy.

The Environment Fund 2020/21 uses the proceeds of the carrier bag levy (introduced in April 2013) to enable not-for-profit organisations and councils to deliver key environmental outcomes.

A total of 24 organisations will receive grants for their projects which range from £6,746 to £257,468.

Mr Poots commented on the scheme on 25 February: “I am pleased to announce this significant funding, derived from the carrier bag levy, which will enable organisations to continue to protect our landscape, habitats and species and promote health and well-being so that we can all enjoy our natural environment.

“Prior to the carrier bag levy being introduced in 2013, 300 million single use bags were used each year in Northern Ireland, filling up landfill, suffocating our seas and damaging our habitats and wildlife.

“The £2.2million generated from the levy will help socially-conscious organisations protect and enhance our environment and showcases my Department’s commitment to find innovative and simple solutions that have big benefits.

“I want to see even more practical measures that will make a real difference and ensure we leave our environment in an even better shape than we found it.

“This initiative reflects the New Decade, New Approach agreement where my Executive colleagues and I have pledged to eliminate plastic pollution and drive through a range of measures to protect the environment.

“I intend to work closely with the Executive and with other UK Ministers to co-ordinate our approach to unnecessary plastic and deliver the maximum benefit across the UK.”