Planet Ark Plastic Bag Reduction
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Plastic Bag Reduction Around The World
Here is a brief snapshot of what has happened in some other countries:
Taking action in March 2002, Bangladesh was the first large country to ban all polyethylene bags in the capital, Dhaka, after they were found to have been the main culprit during the 1988 and 1998 floods that submerged two-thirds of the country.
The ban on polythene bags has led to a revival of the jute bag industry and other sustainable and biodegradable alternatives.
Click here for more information.
In May 2002, Ireland was the first European nation to take action. A 15 euro-cent (25c AUD) levy was placed on plastic supermarket checkout bags. It is estimated that the use of disposable plastic shopping bags has been reduced by approx. 90% since the levy was introduced. Prior to its introduction approx. 1.2 billion disposable plastic bags were given away free by retailers.
This also saw a decrease in excess of 95% in plastic bag litter.
In the first year after the introduction of the 15c levy just under 90 million bags were bought by the public and this fell to less than 85 million in 2003. But since then the number has been on the up again, to 100 million in 2004 and at least 113 million in 2005, a rise of over a third.
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.
For further information refer to the following web sites:
Department of The Environment, Ireland