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Greens call for plastic bag levy to reduce use

The Local · 26 Oct 2011, 08:13

Published: 26 Oct 2011 08:13 GMT+02:00

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The Saarbrücker Zeitung reported on Wednesday that the parliamentary party was preparing a draft law which would impose a 22-cent “environmental price” on plastic shopping bags. The intention is to introduce the proposal into the draft recycling law which the lower house of parliament is set to decide upon this Friday.

“There are environmentally sustainable alternatives such as cloth bags and shopping baskets available, the use of which we want to promote,” Dorothea Steiner, Green MP and the party’s environment spokeswoman told the paper.

She said the party was clear in taking the Irish example as a model – a huge reduction in plastic bag was been achieved overnight when a 15-cent levy was imposed in 2002. The Irish government says on a website that the previously estimated 328 bags used per person per year was reduced to 21 almost overnight.

As this figure slowly crept up, reaching 31 per person in 2006, the levy was increased to 22 cent in 2007 with the aim of bringing plastic bag consumption down to 21 or less.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:41 October 26, 2011 by MonkeyMania
The price of these cloth bags is far too excessive. There is already a charge for plastic bags and I think the re-use of plastic bags is very good in Germany already. If they want further reduction, then subsidise the cost of cloth bags or encourage supermarkets to sell them cheaper. I will always buy a plastic bag for 30 cents instead of a cloth bag for 2 EUR
10:38 October 26, 2011 by ChrisRea
How many cloth bags do you buy? The idea is to re-use them, not to buy one every time. With only one weekly trip to supermarket, in less than 2 months you save more with the cloth bag (considering your 0.3/2 EUR model).
10:47 October 26, 2011 by biker hotel harz
The Green Party live in cloud-cuckoo land. They propose these taxes whilst cocooning themselves in their 8 bedroom houses in the country and driving their stupid Landrover gas-guzzlers and expect the rest of the population to pay for it.
12:25 October 26, 2011 by storymann
when shopping in the USA, they give you the bags for free,and I often see them blowing around the parking lots and other places.

Here in Germany you pay for them,albiet, they are stronger and of better quality.I reuse them many times, often folding them up and putting them in my brief case for later shopping. I have rarely seen one blowing around.I do not see them as a problem.
13:59 October 26, 2011 by murka
Come on, plastic bags are cheap and practical, irreplaceable when you forgot your cloth bag and don't want to buy yet another one. They are about convenience.

Nobody dumps plastic bags to the street/river/lake for the fish and dolphins to suffocate, at least here in south west Germany. They are orderly placed into Gelbesack. Maybe it is different in the east, however this is a question of culture, and not of yet another government regulation.

Actually this is quite an insult for the government to assume that I will dump plastic bags and tin cans, unless I am punished financially.
22:50 October 26, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ murka

Even if you put the plastic bag into the Gelbesack, it cannot be fully recycled. So it means pollution every time you buy a plastic bag. I think a cleaner planet is worth a bit of care not to forget your cloth bag.
09:55 October 27, 2011 by raandy
Plastic, we have plastic bottles, plastic cups ,plastic dinner ware, plastic toys,plastic seat covers,plastic toothbrushes,plastic bumpers, plastic is everywhere

where should we draw the line? or should we ban plastic?, use more wood ,or metal ,or ceramic, fiberglass? or would that cost to much?
10:34 October 27, 2011 by ChrisRea
@ randy

Banning plastic (or other materials that are not biodegradable) is not yet feasible (yes, costs are an issue). The idea is to try to use them as less as possible (and use biodegradable materials instead).
14:18 October 27, 2011 by nolibs
Ah the Greens, what would we do without them telling us how to live and how much of our money we should keep. Sounds like critics are right, Green is the new Red (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=215837)
16:01 October 28, 2011 by nibbler
Having witnessed the benefits of a plastic bag tax in Ireland, I fully support the idea. Walking past any bush or tree or hedge row in Ireland 10 years ago and you would have regularly seen plastic bags caught and blowing in the wind. The country is much cleaner since, also the initial outlay for a few heavy duty bags is nothing compared to the years of use you get from them.
22:26 October 31, 2011 by catjones
storymann....'in the USA....often see them blowing around'. Really? I lived in Chicago (pretty windy there + a few people) and can't recall your vision. On the contrary, when my german friends visit, they exclaim how clean the US is.

Also, the bags are not free. There just isn't a separate charge for them. Likewise, when US stores bag your groceries for you, the service is also not free; just not a separate charge.
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