>> A tax on plastic shopping bags in the
>> Republic of Ireland has cut their use by more than 90% and raised
>> millions of euros in revenue.
> Actually there has been no cut in plastic bag usage, there HAS been a 90%
> drop in free plastic bags, which people used to put their rubbish in, now
> they simply buy more rubbish bags.
Not everyone who got a "free" plastic bag used it for putting rubbish in.
We used to have a situation where you would often be given a plastic bag
if you only bought, for example, a sandwich for lunch. A proportion of
these bags would not make it into the rubbish bin on the way back to the
office, and would end up decorating the trees.
The plastic bag tax worked because it forced the retailers to explain,
to the customer, why the customer would have to pay for something the
customer did not, in many cases, want in the first place. If the
retailer had been allowed to "absorb" the plastic bag charge (i.e. roll
it into the price of the goods so we have to pay it anyway) then the tax
would have failed.
Drink bottles are a similar case: you want the drink, not (usually) the
bottle. But why make bottles out of such a fertiliser-hungry
environmentally-unfriendly crop as corn? Bring back reusable glass
bottles with a deposit on them!
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