May 29, 2014
Add Scotland to the list of regions with a bag tax.
The Scottish Parliament voted in favor of a bag tax by 100 votes to 12 on May 28. The result will see the introduction of a fee of 5 pence (about 8 cents) starting in October, with all the proceeds going to charity.
Welcoming the vote, Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, said: “This is landmark legislation that underlines Scotland is serious about tackling litter, reducing waste and creating a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.
“The vast number of single use carrier bags given out in Scotland is symbolic of our throwaway society. By requiring retailers to charge at least [5 pence] per bag we want shoppers to stop and think about what we discard.”
The vote was welcomed by WWF Scotland director Lang Banks.
“Single-use carrier bags are symbolic of our wasteful attitude to resource use which must be addressed if Scotland's vision of a zero waste future is to be realized,” he said.
However the British Plastics Federation was predictably less pleased.
“Plastic bags are actually a very tiny proportion of waste,” said Philip Law, the BPF's director general designate.
“There are bigger environmental and social issues governments need to tackle food waste being one. As with the [United Kingdom’s] government's proposed bag levy this smacks of a populist move,” he added.