43 1 min 10 yrs


We are in a recession with budgets under greater pressure than ever. Unemployment is at a 15 year high, households are struggling. So, HOW can Stormont help? How about forcing shoppers to pay at least 5p for EVERY carrier bag that they use?


The charge, which takes effect on April 8, will affect all new single use bags including those which are biodegradable. “The levy, a first for Northern Ireland, will apply to the majority of new single use carrier bags, regardless of the material from which the bag is made,” said Environment Minister Alex Attwood. “It is not just on plastic bags but other single use bags from other natural materials. “There are still some occasions when a bag will be provided free of charge.”

Hurrah for Attwood, a man who sums up the Stormont skill to never do anything positive but everything punitive.

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43 thoughts on “END OF THE LINE FOR BAG LADIES..

  1. The plastic bag tax, at four cents a bag, has been in operation here for years. The only thing it does is force lazy people to bring shopping bags to the supermarket with them.

  2. Bag taxes or charges very quickly minimize the problems of litter, plastic bags floating down the local streets.

    It’s a no brainer. Since ” duh market ” didn’t fix the problem, and a slight fee is shown to fix it, lets go with the small charge.

    Go with what works.

  3. Duh problem is that the state, i.e no-one with a proprietory interest, owns the roads. That’s why potholes the size of swimming pools are full of litter.

    No, shut up, I’m right.

  4. The problem is that your people litter.

    The Japanese do not have that problem. There’s nearly no litter in Tokyo or in other Japanese cities. Not due to any enforcement of regulations, but because the people there are clean and orderly and are proud of their towns.

    And funny, the public ( excuse me, ” state ” ) owns the roads there also.

    You have a littering / waste of resource problem, not a road ownership problem.

  5. Where the people are slobs, yes you do need a law. These things have worked elsewhere.

    If you have an advanced society like the Japanese, you don’t need any law.

  6. Surely the fact that if people pay for plastic bags and therefore purchase less of them, resulting in less litter , that’s a good result all round and even Pete should be pleased as it would be the result of market forces as oppose to the current wasteful ‘socialist’ (free but paid for elsewhere so everyone takes as many as they can) current system.

  7. The same type of thing worked in Ireland, so I don’t think it is a bad idea. My kids als olove it when I get a box of groceries there.

  8. In the NYC subway they just enacted a $1 fee for the MetroCard, the card you use to pay the fare.

    You can avoid the fee by restocking value on the old card instead of asking for a new one every time, which most people did.

    Overnight, you could see fewer discarded cards in the stations. Henceforth, there will be less litter and the transit company will spend less money producing new cards.

    It is amazing how small price incentives can motivate behavior. The ” sting ” of a $1 fee is actually changing behavior.

  9. Someone call 911. There’s been a collision between Phantom’s rhetoric and reality and he’s trapped in the wreckage babbling incoherently.

    Colm –

    A state imposition is a cost and a disincentive and yet another distortion of society, but it’s not a market process.

    Are you suggesting that when something is “free” people are induced to use up resources wastefully?

  10. The state is a market actor, just like all the other actors. This is basic stuff.

    What is free is often not valued, and is wasted.

    In NYC, water used to not have a separate charge. We were one of the last cities to have water meters, and thus to charge on actual usage. Now that you pay based on usage, the use of water is way down, to the benefit of all.

  11. Pete

    Of course ‘free’ stuff can be used wastefully. It’s not rocket science. Who could disagree ?

  12. Where exactly is slobsville? Marks charge for bags and the money went to charity now every outlet must charge five pence and the money goes to govt for the green agenda, personally I think that’s a pity. I don’t mind paying the money but I would prefer it went to a better cause.

  13. It used to be ” free ” to pollute the air and water.

    The government mandated pollution controls and voila – there is now a market based industry for catalytic converters, scrubbers, sewage treatment plants, cleaner heating oils as opposed to the heavy, polluting oils that are being phased out.

    It’s still cheaper to pollute now. Only now, in many cases, you go to jail for polluting the air or water.

    See what you can accomplish when you’re not hung up on economic ideology?

    Focus on what works, not what the textbook says. You’ll go far.

  14. Got it.

    So all Bangladesh has to do is adopt a law mandating catalytic converters, scrubbers, sewage treatment plants and cleaner heating oils and its pollution will be history.

  15. No, because Bangladesh is poor.

    You, however are very rich, as are all here, by Bangladeshi standards.

  16. Right.

    And that’s why our environment is getting cleaner: because we’re becoming richer. That’s all there is to it. Become a wealthier society, everything else follows.

  17. Steadily, yes.

    Hundreds of millions of people who have moved to cities are now not ripping up trees and burning them for heat.

  18. China is starting to enact pollution law, now that its nearly too late and all the rivers and lakes are wrecked.

  19. Phantom, on March 26th, 2013 at 6:59 PM Said:
    No, because Bangladesh is poor.

    You, however are very rich, as are all here, by Bangladeshi standards.

    Very true that, but I had an army of kids because I could afford them, If I was ever that poor I would not have done so.

    But then again, I don’t live by Bangladeshi standards

  20. Pete Moore, on March 26th, 2013 at 7:22 PM Said:
    Steadily, yes.

    Hundreds of millions of people who have moved to cities are now not ripping up trees and burning them for heat.

    I think in the cutting down tree and burning stakes (no pun intended) I am making up for most of what they are not burning 😉

  21. Pete

    Your 710 is totally false.

    Los Angeles’ air became less bad only after California enacted pollution law

    The air and water in the US became cleaner when the US EPA enacted pollution law. There is a direct corrolation between the two events

    The same things happened in Europe

    It was and is still easier to pollute in some cases. Law prevents the irresponsible from polluting the common resource.

  22. Me and her are in Wales for a few days (Brecon Beacons). Paid 5p for bag in shop today, the horror of it, will never visit this beautiful country again.

  23. Peter –

    Five pence or not, Gaia screamed in pain when you hoisted that devilish plastic of evil.

    Where in the Beacons are you? I’m packing the tent and crampons and driving up to the Lake District this weekend. That snow’s too good to ignore.

  24. Pete

    We are staying near Crickhowell, major treck near Brecon planned for tomorrow (Pen Fan and Corn Du), but a comfortable hotel is a big part of it. We will trek on Thursday and on Friday plan to visit Ross on the way back to Bristol Airport.

    Where are you heading in Cumbria? We stayed in Keswick a few years ago. Cat Bells in the October snow, hard to beat 🙂

  25. Phantom posted:

    Law prevents the irresponsible from polluting the common resource.

    Agreed. Where there are no private property rights to enforce, the state must legislate against the polluters / despoilers / robber-barons.

  26. Is the beacons not in the opposite direction to the lake district? Stayed in kendal last year, lovely part of the world. have never toured wales. visited it but not for a good tour

  27. Peter –

    Park up just south of the Upper Neuadd Resevoir and you have a cracking horseshoe taking in Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du. Just watch out for the winds up top. They can be fierce there.

    I’m camping at Langdale. This snap of the valley was taken two days ago. They’re perfect outdoors conditions as far as I’m concerned.

  28. Thanks Pete, I think that’s the walk we have planned, or very close to it.

    Take care up there, looks a bit fresh to me!

  29. I sincerely hate carrying my stack of cloth bags to the grocery. I have to make twice as many trips in my monstrous SUV because only four full bags fit into the damn shopping carts.

    Austin enacted a stupid no bag whatsoever rule a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t know what do with my cart full of Home Depot purchases (expensive energy efficient light bulbs, water filters, paint brushes, a couple of boxes of nails and screws, three large packs of recyclable grass bags, rechargeable batteries of various sizes, a battery operated leaf blower and weed whacker, three gallons of non-toxic stain for the fence, etc.) last Saturday. Chucked it all in the back and returned $50 worth of broken light bulbs this morning for a full credit.

    Seriously, no bags for anything? How are dog walkers supposed to collect the poo? Husbands to carry their lunch? Parents to bag foul diapers?

    I always reuse my resourceful plastic bags and never toss them out as litter. I resent this lame-brained, ill-conceived, state sponsored, pointless ecological intervention in our lives.

  30. I’m an aggresssive recycler. I just came back from the market to recycle bottles and cans, in a plastic bag, which was then reused a third time to bring good home.

    I use bags over and over and over.

    But many people don’t. Many can’t be bothered to put the bags in the recycle bin. They put them right into the waste stream. Or worse, they are found stuck in tree limbs, or clogging sewer drains.

    I think that a 5 cents a bag charge about right. As a tax or let the store keep it. Because as with other forms of pollution, plastic bag pollution won’t be solved by each person doing whatever they feel like.a lot of them feel like throwing ithem in the street.

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