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:

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Carrier bags are a highly visible aspect of litter. By reducing the amount being carelessly discarded we can cut waste and its impact on our environment and economy. A small charge should also encourage us all to stop and think about what we discard and what can be re-used.

"This initiative will see retailers donating the proceeds to charitable good causes. It is hoped this could be up to £5m per year after retailers have covered their costs."

Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: "The evidence from Wales is that a small charge is easy to implement and has a huge impact on shopper's behaviour, which can only be a good thing for litter in our towns and for our wildlife, seas and beaches.

To read more about the proposal and the opinions it has garnered, please see the full article on the BBC here.

Photo via katerha on Flickr.

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