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Bag that Idea!!
Across the Atlantic, Ikea are introducing a radical new idea to the States – paying for shopping bags. Now to many Europeans, nothing new, but here in Spain the concept of paying for plastic bags would seem just as outrageous as in the States. Shame, no?! Apart from the obvious improvement to the littered countryside a levy on bags would bring, what about the excessive petrochemical dependency? Bring it on Mercadona!
From Ireland Planet Ark report that the government is to increase a tax on plastic shopping bags that has cut their use by more than 90 percent since its launch five years ago. Environmentalists say plastic bags create litter, harm marine wildlife, waste natural resources and are rarely recycled. Friends of the Earth have backed plastic bag taxes, saying they are popular with consumers and help reduce waste.
Before the tax, the sight of plastic bags flapping from trees and hedgerows across Ireland was so prevalent that some said they were fast becoming the Emerald Isle’s "national flag". The levy, which will rise to 0.22€ from 0.15€ per bag from July 1, cut the amount of plastic bag litter by 95 percent after people switched to reusable bags, said Environment Minister Dick Roche. The number of bags used by shoppers fell to as low as 21 per head each year, compared to 328 before the tax, he said. Ireland has raised 75 million euros from the tax since it was introduced in 2002 in an attempt to reduce litter from the 1.2 billion bags given to Irish shoppers each year and improve the country’s environmental record.