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Greens call for 22 cent tax on plastic bags

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Greens call for 22 cent tax on plastic bags
Photo: DPA
12:32 CET+01:00
The Greens are calling for a a 22 cent tax on plastic bags – a move that the European Union Commission has thought about but not implemented, the Bild newspaper reported on Saturday.

“A tax of 22 cents per plastic bag could finance research into biologically degradable material,” Dorothea Steiner, the environment policy speaker of the Greens in the Bundestag or parliament, told the newspaper.

The party made a similar effort two years ago but was unsuccessful. There has, however, been more attention to plastic bags' detrimental effect on the environment since then.

“We could set an example for the rest of Europe with this,” said Rebecca Harms, the Green Party faction chief in the EU Parliament. She told the paper that thousands of one-way plastic bags end up in the oceans and increasingly pose a threat to marine life.

Currently the purchase of a plastic bag in a supermarket costs German consumers 10 cents. Raising it to 22 cents represents a more than 200 percent price increase, Focus Online said.

The EU Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik introduced a discussion paper on Thursday on how to reduce plastic garbage, Focus reported.

One suggestion is to use market-based incentives to reduce plastic bag consumption. EU-wide there were 95.5 billion plastic bags in use in 2010, the magazine's online site said.

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