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Re: [GreenYes] Charging for Bags
I believe the answer lies in penalizing those who do not bring a bag, that
is charging them for the bag, and rewarding those who do bring their own
bags, that is giving them back the cost of a bag. The supermarkets could do
it on a cost recovery basis. I remember some years ago interviewing store
managers and learning how much the bags cost them. They preferred plastic
because they were cheaper to buy. If I recall, the cost was about 2 cents
(Canadian) a bag for plastic, versus double that for paper.

Ireland recently put a 9 pence (15 cent) tax on plastic bags and the
following story indicates Britain may go the same way.

Meacher supports plastic bag tax -

Environment Minister Michael Meacher has declared that he is in favour of a
new tax on plastic carrier bags, following the success of a scheme in
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Meacher stated that the 9p tax
per bag in Ireland is dramatically cutting the use of plastic shopping bags.
People are reusing old bags, and there are new biodegradable bags coming
onto the market.
In the UK, we use eight billion plastic bags each year, which works out at
134 bags per person. The Minister has called for a report on the Irish
experience within three months, and if no serious problems are found, he
will be arguing strongly for introducing a similar scheme in the UK.

You can paste the following URL in your broswer for a BBC story on the Irish
which indicates sales or reusable bags increased in anticipation of the tax.

If you go to, after registering, you can download a
2 page report on CO2 savings from a reduction in use of plastic bags.

Italy apparently levied a tax on plastic bags in 1989 according to but I don't know if it
is still on the books.

Other info can be accessed by putting "plastic bag tax" in your search engine.


Michael Jessen
toenail environmental services
5635 Highway 3A
Nelson, BC V1L 6N7 Canada
Office Phone: 250/229-4621
Home Phone: 250/229-5632
Fax: 775/587-9838

"If you're not in favour of Zero Waste, how much waste are you in favour

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