The Carrier Bags Bill is now with the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for the Environment for its Committee Stage. Over the coming months, the Committee will be scrutinising the Bill and its proposals.

The Bill proposes a 10p charge for all single-use carrier bags and will allow for the charge to be applied to the cheaper version of reusable bags as well. These proposals represent the second phase of the Department of the Environment’s charging arrangements for carrier bags. The first phase of charging arrangements came into effect on 8 April 2013, with a 5p charge for single-use carrier bags.

Over the coming months, the Committee will be considering how the Bill might affect customers and retailers, and how the Bill will work in practice. Issues that the Committee will want to learn more about include:  the impact on people’s shopping habits; the effect on retailers, particularly smaller retailers; exemptions; the proposed review; the administration and use of the levy; and proposals for interest charges for late payments.

The Committee is keen to hear people’s views on the Bill’s proposals and is inviting the public and stakeholders to send in written submissions on the Bill by Thursday 15 August.

A short video of Committee Chairperson, Anna Lo MLA, talking about the Bill and its proposals is available here: http://vimeo.com/68527557