Critics of taxes on plastic bags may argue that they have no environmental benefit, but that's not stopping Ireland's environment minister. John Gormley said Sept. 23 that he will introduce a bill later this year that would double Ireland's tax on single-use plastic bags to 0.44 euros (59 U.S. cents). According to this report, Gormley spoke at an environmental conference in Dublin, where he said the tax initially was met with resistance, but now has proved "hugely popular." A spokesman for the minister said raising the tax will "ensure that there's a sufficient deterrent against people moving back to plastic bags." Ireland was a pioneer in taxing plastic bags. It originally put a 0.15 euro tax on bags in March 2002. Opponents of bag taxes had better bone up on reasons why taxes are a bad idea. (The American Chemistry Council has a list here). Because once politicans settle on something that they can tax -- especially if they think the tax will actually be popular -- you can be sure that they'll keep going back to that well.
Ireland may double bag tax
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