A long-threatened tax on plastic bags was signed into law by Irish environment minister Noel Dempsey on 20 December. The new regulation specifies a levy system largely in line with final draft proposals released last autumn (EED 18/09/01). However, the levy will now take effect in March rather than February to avoid overburdening retailers getting to grips with the new European currency. Mr Dempsey reiterated that the aim of the levy was to encourage consumers to use fewer plastic bags, thereby reducing litter. See press release.
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