Northern Ireland Assembly members passed a private members bill, the Single Use Carrier Bags (Northern Ireland) Act, on 23 March, just before dissolution before elections on 5 May.
The act will require retailers to charge for single use bags and pay the proceeds to the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland (DoENI).
It was introduced by Daithi McKay (Sinn Fein, North Antrim) and simplified by the assembly during its passage. It now inserts two clauses into the Climate Change Act 2008. Full details of how the charge will be applied, and how much it will be, will have to be agreed by the assembly in secondary legislation.
The bill is likely to receive Royal Assent within the next month, but contains no commencement date. But the popularity of the cause means it is likely to get prompt attention.
Wales is the only other part of the UK to be introducing a bag charge (see pp 51-52).