plastic bags

Bag Tax Acts as Habit Disruptor, Helps Reduce Plastic Usage

On the 22nd of May, the European Union will be voting on a measure to instate a plastic bag tax with the intention of reducing the masses of single use plastic generated by Europeans annually. In an article from the Guardian, Oliver Balch reports that Danish MEP Margrete Auken is a particularly outspoken proponent of a bag tax, but supports the small fee over an outright ban because it would function as a "habit disruptor". According to Balch:

California to Legislators: Stop Bogging Down Bag Bill

California's legislators have a reputation for being environmentally aware and concerned, but Huffington Post blogger and environmental attorney Lisa Kaas Boyle paints a different picture of the supposedly "green" policies California politicians espouse. Boyle writes about a new Senate Bill with a familiar purpose, Senate Bill 405, which is the latest incarnation of the plastic bag ban bill which reappears regularly, and is consistently voted down.

Mauritania, Africa Bans Plastic Bags

An article from the BBC today has announced that Mauritania, Africa has banned plastic bags after a series of alarming statistical findings have determined that more than 70% of cattle and sheep in its capital city have died from ingesting plastic. According to the BBC, plastic makes up a quarter of 56,000 tons of waste produced in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. The government of Mauritania has responded to the figures, commenting:

Unrecyclable Biodegradable Bags Enforced in Gulf Country

The United Arab Emirates Government has created legislation in an attempt to rid Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other emirates of plastic bags by creating a law that only biodegradable bags may be used in all businesses beginning January 2013. The Green Prophet's Tafline Laylin reports that while this is a well meaning attempt to eliminate the plastic problem, many fear that the legislation will not be sufficient to curb plastic pollution. According to Laylin:

Port Townsend, WA to Ban Plastic Bags

An article in the Peninsula Daily News this week announced that Port Townsend, Washington will be joining the growing ranks of towns in which plastic bags have been banned. According to contributor Charlie Bermant, plastic bags will be banned, and a 5 cent tax will be levied on all regular sized paper bags. The ban excludes plastic bags covering newspapers and dry cleaning, and the tax on paper bags excludes smaller bags for produce. These measures have been implemented to encourage shoppers to bring their own, reusable bags. Writes Bermant:

London 2012 Visitors Urged to Refuse Plastic Bags

Green activist group Greener Upon Thames is campaigning at the London 2012 Olympics to encourage visitors to refuse single use plastic bags during the games. According to the organization, the Olympics could generate a vast amount of plastic waste that would travel around the world and create a global problem which would shame Britain as a country. Guardian reporter Rebecca Smithers writes:

Toronto Stores Disregard Abolished Bag Fee, Continue to Charge for Plastic Bags

Recently, Toronto Mayor Tom Ford has abolished the previous government's fee on plastic bags at supermarket checkouts, insisting that it was a tax on consumers that was unnecesary. While no longer required by law to charge a fee for plastic bags, many Toronto stores have continued to do so -- a gesture which has frustrated the Mayor. Retailers such as Loblaws and Metro are upholding their 5 cent bag fee, and say that they are planning to donate the money collected from the fee to charities. According to the article by Vidya Kauri in the National Post:

Scotland Plans 5p Plastic Bag Tax

The Scottish Government is currently discussing plans to institute a 5p bag tax for plastic carrier bags dispensed in stores, according to an article on the BBC yesterday. The article suggests that the plans are being debated as part of a three month consultation proposed by the Scottish National Party, and have taken into consideration a successful fee imposed by Wales in October, leading to a substantial decrease in plastic bag use. The article cites a few of the most outspoken defenders of the fee:

Bulgaria Cracks Down on Plastic Bag Use

In an article published today through Bulgaria's Sofia News Agency, it was announced that the Bulgarian government has imposed a higher fee for the usage of plastic bags in an effort to slow their usage. According to, the Bulgarian cabinet voted today to raise the fee for plastic bags from BGN 0.15 to BGN 0.35, with an aim to reach BGN 0.55 by the year 2014.

Sea World to Eliminate Plastic Bags

In an article released today on the Environmental Leader, it was announced that amusement park chain Sea World Parks and Entertainment is set to phase out the use of plastic bags in its ten theme parks by the end of the year. According to the article, "When the initiative is fully implemented, park gift shops will offer paper bags made from 100 percent recycled paper, and give guests the option to buy reusable bags. SeaWorld hopes the move will keep an estimated four million plastic bags from entering landfills and the environment each year."

Syndicate content