Advance for Swiss glass bottle tax plan

Charge on new bottles to be applied from January, will cover over half of recycling costs

The Swiss environment agency yesterday reaffirmed the government's intention to shift the costs of recycling glass bottles from local authorities to producers, announcing a tax to be levied on new bottles from January 2002. With expected revenue of SFr20m (euros 13m) per year, at least half of recycling costs, currently borne by communes, should be recouped by the new tax.

Switzerland recycles a higher percentage of glass packaging (around 90%) than almost any other country, its very success having created financial difficulties for local authorities. Plans to lighten the load via taxation of new bottles were first announced last summer (EED 10/07/00).

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