Plastic bag levy rises to 22 cents


The plastic bag levy has increased to 22 cent today in a further bid to reduce littering.

The former minister for the environment Dick Roche announced the rise last February which comes after evidence suggested the initial impact of the tax in 2002 was beginning to weaken.

Statistics showed each shopper used 328 bags a year before its introduction compared to just 21 afterwards. However plastic bag usage rose to 30 bags per person during 2006. The levy is seen as one of the most successful anti-littering devices introduced in Ireland and was copied internationally.

It initially sparked a 90 per cent drop in the use of plastic bags. The measure was legislated for under the Waste Management (Environment Levy) (Plastic Bag) (Amendment) Regulations 2007.

Retailers were given a lead-in time since February to change their systems to take account of the change. The Revenue Commissioners collect the tax on behalf of the Department of Environment.

The funds help finance local environmental projects such as recycling facilities.