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The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) voices concern over the dramatic increase in the Northern Ireland Carrier Bag Levy.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced a dramatic increase in the Carrier Bag Levy charge, which will rise from 5p to 25p from April 1, 2022.

It s the opinion of the NFRN that, while the increase will hopefully lead to fewer plastic bags, it will have a negative impact on the independent retailers who must enforce the change, and are already facing financial uncertainty.

The announcement was made on Tuesday 9 November, during an Oral Statement t the Assembly on Northern Ireland’s first overarching Environment Strategy.

In addition to the rise in the Levy, the Minster also announced an extension to the existing pricing threshold which will see all bags priced at £5 or less dependent on the levy, regardless of the materials each carrier bag is made from.

NFRN National President Narinder Randawa has said “whilst we support responsible retailing and understand the need for tighter controls on plastic bags, we are greatly concerned by this sharp increase.

“This increase will impact many of our members and customers alike, especially during a time of financial difficulty following the pandemic and economic increases. The NFRN does not support this legislation and will appeal to the Minster to rethink this proposal.”

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