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KILL PLASTIC BAGS WITH TAXES: look to Ireland

Posted By Emily Pilloton On February 4, 2008 @ 2:07 pm In Policy,San Francisco,social responsibility | 11 Comments

plastic bag ban, china bag ban, plastic bags banned, city ban on bags, bags banned, plastic shopping bags, ireland bags [1]

Ireland plastic bag usage drops dramatically after plastic bag taxes are instated!

With all the recent bans [2] on plastic bags [3] around the world [4], it’s natural to wonder just how effective all the bag banning will be. Instead of simply enacting laws to phase out plastic bags – which seems like a wishy-washy attempt at most, Ireland has implemented a tax-based incentive [5] to cut plastic bag useage — and it seems to be working wonders. Between the government tax on bags, an effective advertising campaign, and public support, plastic bag usage has dropped 94% in a matter of weeks.

Plastic bags were not outlawed, just made publicly unacceptable. Could this be the most effective way to rid stores of a wasteful and unnecessary product that seems to have sneakily insinuated itself into the generic shopping experience? We think Ireland is a great example for cities and countries around on the world who want to tackle the plastic bag problem decisively and effectively.

From San Francisco to Melbourne, and entire countries from China to Bangladesh, to some African nations, the tides are a-turnin’ against plastic bags. Check out our previous coverage on bag bans in San Francisco [2], Hong Kong [6], Melbourne [7], China [3], Israel [8], and several countries in Africa. [4]

+ Ireland Bag Tax via NY Times [5]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/ireland-plastic-bag-usage-way-down/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/04/ireland-plastic-bag-usage-way-down/

[2] recent bans : http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/23/san-franciscos-ban-on-plastic-bags/

[3] on plastic bags: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/01/14/china-bans-plastic-bags/

[4] around the world: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/17/africas-outlook-and-ban-on-plastic-bags/

[5] Ireland has implemented a tax-based incentive: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/world/europe/02bags.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

[6] Hong Kong: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/22/plastic-bag-levy-in-hong-kong-closer-to-reality/

[7] Melbourne: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/06/23/melbourne-bans-plastic-bags/

[8] Israel: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/01/16/small-charge-for-plastic-bags-in-israel/

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