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Bag levy protects environment

The large numbers of plastic bags which were previously found blowing across our beaches represented a depressing image which also posed a significant threat to the environment.

It is highly encouraging that the total recovered along Northern Ireland's coastline has dropped by almost 50 per cent in the last year, according to a comprehensive survey carried out by the Marine Conservation Society.

There can be no doubt that the 5p levy introduced on single use plastic bags has been the main factor in what deserves to be regarded as a strongly positive development.

While much more work needs to be done in terms of reducing litter not just along our shores but in a range of other areas, the indications are that we are moving in the right direction.

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Leading article