Irish plastic bag tax legislation due by Easter

Environment minister confirms government commitment to euros 0.13 charge

The Irish government will officially propose a tax on plastic bags before Easter, environment minister Noel Dempsey said on Wednesday. Mr Dempsey made the statement at the launch of a national anti-litter action plan, which he said would be partly funded through the plastic bag charge.

The environment ministry first considered how to reduce the use of plastic bags and their environmental impacts in 1998. Public consultation in 1999 showed support for a tax and last June the government gave approval in principle for introduction of a euros 0.13 (I£0.10) per bag charge (ENDS Daily 23 June 2000).

Industry groups oppose the move, which they claim is environmentally unjustified. Other EU member states had shied away from this kind of action, a plastics industry source told ENDS Daily, because life-cycle comparisons of plastic versus paper bags had shown the former to be less environmentally damaging.

Follow Up:
Irish environment ministry, tel: +353 1 888 2000, and national anti-litter action plan.

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