DOWN Councillor Cadogan Enright accused the chancellor of the exchequer of caving into vested interests by not proceeding with the proposed plastic bag tax in last weeks budget.
Councillor Enright said, “The huge numbers of plastic bags going into landfill and blowing about the countryside are a scandal, with the trees and hedges of some of our best beauty spots stuffed with unsightly plastic bags. We have seen the success of this policy in the Republic in recent years where a tiny tax of 15cents was sufficient to make people stop and think if they should be using recyclable bags instead”
Councillor Cadogan Enright continued “It is on the public record with the Electoral Commission that the English Labour Party is partly funded by people associated with big supermarkets, with Lord Sainsbury an active senior party member under Tony Blair having given £11 million to the party by 2003 and £16 million by 2007. Clearly this gives this industry undue influence”
Councillor Enright concluded, “Local shops will benefit from this change when it eventually happens, and many shopkeepers have told me that the custom and practice of handing out plastic bags with every purchase spread from the supermarkets, and I can recall when people used their own shopping bags – as in France – before this custom became embedded. Clearly the Republic has shown that people will go back to old pre-disposable ways if given a chance – so must we”.
Councillor Enright called on people to refuse a bug where they can, or take their own recyclable bags shopping.
Green Party members in the Ballynoe area cleared the polluted hedges there of plastic bags. Local Green Party member Mark McCormaik described them as “an eyesore to such a beautiful part of the countryside”.