Northern Ireland is introducing a plastic bag charge from today. Although the Derry shopping trip happens less often than it used to for Movillians as prices at shops like Gillens are now cheaper than those in Sainsburys, there are still a lot of people who do their shopping there. Such things as alcohol and pastries and cakes are still much cheaper there.

Often a week’s shopping is done there. There was always a plentiful supply of orange bags on the counter at Sainsburys to put the shopping in. There still will be – but you will be charged for them.

From today they will cost 5p each. That’s not too much compared with the 22 cents here. However, that will go up to 10p next April. One would bet that it would continue to increase.

The number of plastic bags in Ireland declined by 90% after it was introduced here. The bags are not biodegradable.

When Sainsburys is now dearer than Gillens, if you get a few bags it still adds to the overall cost especially when you add on the cost of getting there and back too. So if you are going to shop in Derry remember to bring a few plastic bags with you.