Bag tax lobby in Northern Ireland 'scaremongering'
By Anthony Clark
Posted 16 July 2012
The Plastics 2020 Challenge, which includes the British Plastics Federation (BPF), the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa) and lobbying group PlasticsEurope, has slammed anti-bag campaigners in Northern Ireland for using 'scaremongering' tactics.
Lobbyists for a plastic bag tax in Northern Ireland are using the global issue of marine litter to divert attention from the fact that plastic carrier bags are resource efficient, according to Plastics 2020 Challenge.
Pafa's Barry Turner said: “This is a transparent and blatant PR move aimed at playing on emotions by suggesting that marine wildlife is under global threat from plastic carrier bags used by the people of Northern Ireland for carrying their shopping home.
“It’s a feeble attempt to justify a tax at a time when people can least afford it. The Plastics 2020 Challenge takes the litter problem very seriously and is involved in diverting plastic waste from landfill and in educating school children to recycle their used plastics packaging instead of littering them.”
PlasticsEurope's Jan-Erik Johansson said a bag levy was not a solution to the problem of “poor waste management, a lack of waste bins and irresponsible behaviour” while the BPF’s public and industrial affairs director Philip Law said that plastic bags were better than alternatives from a “functional, environmental and hygienic point of view”.
“Authoritative and independent studies back this up,” he added.
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