Northern Ireland ponders shopping bag charge
Plans to charge the people of Northern Irelands for the 200 million carrier bags they use every year have gone out to consultation.
Northern Ireland is due to follow the example of Wales and the Republic by introducing a charge for plastic bags.
In the Republic of Ireland a charge of 22 cents is payable for most plastic bags, 'single use' carriers cost 5p in Wales and while the rest of the UK has no charges.
Environment minister, Alex Attwood, has launched a consolation into how the charge will work in Northern Ireland when it comes in at the start of April 2013.
Mr Attwood said: "The aim of this charge is to both reduce bag usage and at the same time raise revenue that would be used to provide funding for the environment and other Government priorities.
"This is a green initiative, it can symbolise a change of attitude, a change in culture, a change for the better.
"Throw away bags are an eyesore and result in hidden costs which each and every one of us pays.
"Not only do we pay for the costs of producing them in our shopping bills, but we pay for their impact on the environment and the costs of cleaning them up."