No plastic bag tax for Estonia

Such thin plastic bags are currently still available for free in Estonian supermarkets. (ERR)
11/27/2015 1:44 PM
Category: Environment

The Estonian government has no plans to impose a plastic bag tax to decrease use of plastic bags, and plans to work with shopkeepers to change habits of clients instead.

In 2014, the European Union set a target of decreasing the use of plastic by 80 percent by 2019.

On average, an Estonian uses 23 plastic carrier bags each year, and 140 smaller bags for fruit and vegetable. In the EU, Denmark has the lowest per capita usage at around 4 bags a year, while countries such as Portugal, Poland and Slovakia linger at the other end of the scale with over 400 bags used per annum

While plastic carrier bags have not come for free for years, Estonian officials are now aiming to cut the use of smaller plastic bags as well.

Peeter Eek of the Ministry of the Environment said the ministry is looking into imposing a minimum price for plastic bags, but a special tax is not sensible, he added. Eek said the cost of collecting such a tax would be greater than the funds received from it.

The ministry is hoping to complete a bill to tackle plastic bag usage by spring.

J.M. Laats

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