Ireland to double plastic bag tax
Ireland's Environment Minister has told a Dublin conference that the government plans to double the current rate of tax on disposable plastic bags to provide a 'sufficient deterrent' to stop people turning up to the checkout without their own bags.
John Gormley told delegates at Environment Ireland that his department was planning to raise the tax to 44 cents per bag.
Department officials later confirmed that a bill outlining the plans is likely to be published next month, with the law coming into force by the end of the year.
While there was initially some consumer resistance to the bag tax when it was introduced seven years ago, it has now become accepted and has seen a sharp fall in the number of plastic bags being used each year.
Critics of the tax argue that while a highly visible form of waste, plastic bags are not a major waste stream.
The tax has doubtless raised the issue of waste in the public consciousness, however, and has sparked debate in other countries about whether to follow suit.