The state-wide levy on plastic bags is currently 22 cents, but shoppers in several supermarkets will find themselves paying more because the only bags available are of a different variety than the standard bag.
Although standard bags are available in Superquinn in the Market Cross Shopping Centre for 22 cents, several outlets do not offer the standard bags.
Dunnes Stores on Kieran Street offers only a larger carrier bag for 70 cents, while Lidl sells large carrier bags for 39 cents and a “shopping bag for life” for €1.39.
Bags in Supervalu in Loughboy cost 45 cents, because the store sells only a type of bag made from 40% recycled material.
Aldi sells four types of bags: a “flexi-loop plastic bag” for 39 cents, a cotton carrier bag for 79 cents, a reusable bag for €1.39 and a frozen-food carrier bag for 79 cents.
At Eurospar in Castlecomer, customers can buy a standard bag for 22 cents or a larger bag for 52 cents. The Supervalu in Callan said it does not sell plastic bags at all.
Regardless, new legislation is under consideration that will allow the nationwide levy to be raised as high as 70 cents per bag.
“The Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2011 proposes a mechanism whereby the rate of the levy can be increased, subject to a maximum rate of 70c per bag. The Bill is going through the Oireachtas at present,” according to www.citizensinformation.ie.
The bill sets out to amend the previous act “by providing that the ceiling on the plastic bag levy be set at an absolute limit of 70 cent ... to allow for the application of the Consumer Price Index to the levy for a number of years”.