The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Amendment and Revocation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022

Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland

Commencement: 1st April 2022

Amends: The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Mini Summary

The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 writes into legislation that a 25 pence charge must be applied to all single-use carrier bags (supplied new) in Northern Ireland.

The Regulations are made under Sections 77Section 90, and Schedule 6 of The Climate Change Act 2008.

The charge will apply from 1st April 2022, to all single-use bags, including those made from plastic, paper, plant-based material and natural starch. However, exemptions have been put in place for bags that are used to contain medical products, take-away hot food and drinks and bags used solely for unpackaged food.

250 million single-use carrier bags are consumed in Northern Ireland every year; the introduction of the levy is hoped to reduce this number by 80%. The funds generated by the scheme will be reinvested into environmental projects.


Changes are made to the carrier bag levy.

The definition of ‘net proceeds of the charge’ is updated to reflect the new minimum price sellers are required to charge for new single-use carrier bags. Sellers are required to charge customers at least 25 pence for each carrier bag.

Sellers are also required to keep a record of the new 25 pence charge. The record must include the monetary value and the chargeable VAT resulting from the charge.

The 25 pence levy applies to all new carrier bags with a retail price of £5 or less, regardless of material used and whether they are single-use or reusable.

Charge exemptions are removed for:

  • bags for purchases made on ships, trains, aircraft, coaches or buses;
  • bags for purchases within restricted areas in airports, except sealed transit bags; and
  • gusseted* liners.

*A gusset is an extra piece of fabric which is added to increase the space and strength of a bag.

Single carrier bags are now exempt from the 25 pence charge if they:

  • are made of any material;
  • have maximum dimensions of 125mm (width) x 155mm (height);
  • have a gusset of less than 50mm; and
  • have no handle.

The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 are revoked.


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