Northern Ireland Carrier Bag Levy Annual Statistics 2020/21 released


Northern Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published the Northern Ireland carrier bag levy annual statistics for 2020/21.

This statistical report is updated annually and the published statistics relate to the carrier bag levy that commenced on 8 April 2013. The figures relate to the number of bags dispensed by retailers in Northern Ireland between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021 as notified to the Department by 30 June 2021.

The Key Points include:

  • During the eighth year of operation, 56.2 million carrier bags were dispensed by retailers under the carrier bag levy in Northern Ireland.
  • This was 30.2% lower than the previous year, with 24.3 million fewer bags dispensed. The number of lower rate bags dispensed decreased by 26.0% between 2019/20 and 2020/21 while the number of upper rate bags dispensed decreased by 34.0%.
  • The number of carrier bags dispensed in 2020/21 is still markedly lower than the baseline figure prior to the introduction of the levy, which was estimated at 300 million bags in 2012. Year 8 of the 5p levy saw an 81.3% reduction in bag numbers dispensed annually compared to the baseline figure which meant approximately 243.8 million fewer bags in circulation in 2020/21 and an estimated 1.7 billion fewer since the introduction of the levy.
  • The proceeds of the levy for 2020/21 totalled £2.2 million, a decrease of £2.2 million (50.5%) from the previous year.

Download the report.