Plastic Bag Levy
The plastic bag levy was first introduced on 4th March 2002 at the rate of 15 cent per bag. Its primary purpose is to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic bags by influencing consumer behaviour. All levies are paid into the Environment Fund.
It had an immediate effect on consumer behaviour with a decrease in plastic bag usage from an estimated 328 bags per person to 21 bags per person overnight.
The current levy of 22 cent was introduced on 1 July, 2007. It was increased as the bags per person had increased to 31 during 2006. The aim of the increase in cost is to reduce the plastic bag per person usage to 21 or lower.
ARE ALL PLASTIC BAGS LIABLE TO THE LEVY?
No. The following are the bags on which no levy is charged:
- Small bags used to contain fresh meat, fish or poultry, EVEN IF THEY ALREADY HAVE PACKAGING.
- Small bags used to contain loose fruit, nuts, sweets, vegetables, hot or cold cooked food, PROVIDED THESE ITEMS ARE NOT ALREADY PACKAGED.
- Bags given out in Duty – Free areas.
- Re-usable bags which are sold for 70 cent or more.
WHO PAYS THE LEVY?
Customers who want a plastic shopping bag must pay the levy. To avoid paying the levy, simply use re-usable bags.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY COLLECTED?
The money collected goes into The Environment Fund and is used to fund litter, waste management and other environmental projects.
WHAT MUST THE PUBLIC DO?
In order for this Levy to work, members of the public must:
- Reduce the amount of plastic bags they use
- Report any incidents where plastic bags are distributed free of charge to:
The Environment Section, Galway County Council Tel. 091-509510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Waste Management (Environmental Levy) (Plastic Bag) Regulations, 2001 provide for the imposition of an environmental levy on plastic bags and provide for the arrangements for the collection of the levy and specify the times at which the levy shall be paid.
The Waste Management (Environmental Levy) (Plastic Bag) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2007 provide for an increase in the amount of the levy on plastic bags from 15 cent to 22 cent per bag with effect from 1 July 2007.