UK might emulate Irish plastic bag tax

Meacher reveals personal support for anti-litter measure after early signs of success

UK environment minister Michael Meacher yesterday revealed his backing for a tax on plastic carrier bags following Ireland's successful introduction of one in March. Early indications were of a dramatic reduction in the use of plastic shopping bags, he told the Guardian newspaper. "I think its a cracking good idea", he said.

The Irish tax plan emerged nearly three years ago as a response to widespread litter problems (EED 23/08/99). It was finally signed into law in December (EED 04/02/02). Under the rules, every bag sold attracts a euros 0.15 charge, with all revenues channelled into environmental projects.

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