Plastic bag levy - A clear success

In a world ravaged by wars and economic crises, ‘good’ news is as rare as hen’s teeth. It is heartening, therefore, to hear that an Irish Government initiative has not only borne fruit but made lots of money.

In the 10 years since the levy on plastic shopping bags was introduced, it has generated €166m for the Exchequer, helped to clean up the environment and set an example for other countries to follow.

Having seen a 90% fall in the use of plastic bags in the Republic, several US states introduced a similar tax. Wales did so at Christmas and Northern Ireland will follow suit in 2013.

The success of this scheme has been greatly enhanced by shoppers cutting down on the use of disposable plastic bags, thus helping to reduce an appalling eyesore from the countryside and the seas around our coast.

It would be the icing on the cake if Ireland followed the example of Wales, where the money generated is ring-fenced for charities and environmental schemes.


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