List by country; ‘bag charges, taxes and bans’.

City by city, state by state and country by country are taking action against the scourge of plastic bags. Below are just some of the countries with bans or charges already in place or pending. This is in no way a complete list however it does illustrate the global support being garnered against the effects and damage done by the sheer volume of plastic that is clogging our planet every year.

An island the size of Texas is forming in the Central Pacific Ocean……an island made entirely of discarded plastic debris.

by country; Who has charges, taxes & bans on plastic bags?

denmark_danish_flagDenmark In 2003, Denmark introduced a tax to retailers for giving out plastic bags. This encouraged stores to charge for plastic bags and pushed the use of reusable bags. It was thought that this saved about 66% of plastic and paper bags.

ireland buttonIreland  The Republic of Ireland introduced a €0.15 tax in March 2002. Levied on consumers at the point of sale, this led to 90% of consumers using long-life bags within a year. The tax was increased to €0.22 in 2007. The revenue is put into an Environment Fund.

walesWales  Since 1 October 2011, there has been a minimum charge of 5p on all plastic bags (including paper bags). The charge was introduced to dramatically reduce the number of carrier bags used in Wales. The charge affects all retailers in Wales. By July 2012, evidence showed the number of plastic bags given away by shops had fallen by up to 96%.

italy buttonItaly In January 2011, Italy banned the distribution of plastic bags that are not from biodegradable sources.

scotland_scottish_flagScotland applied a national 5p charge on all bags used instore or online. Within the first year, retailers showed that single-use carrier bag usage had fallen by more than 80% since the charge was introduced on 20 October 2014. Scotland’s last reported annual consumer usage figures released by the BBC prior to the charge coming into effect was approx 750 million bags used per year.

germany_german_flagGermany All stores in Germany that provide plastic bags must pay a recycling tax.

EnglandEngland Since October 5th 2015, an official bag charge is now in place agreed upon by the government and applies only to all companies with 250+ employees. Government pressure is leaning on all smaller companies to adopt this charge however no legal requirements exist as yet to make this compulsory. Recent figures have reported England’s annual use of plastic bags to be approx seven billion every year. That’s a lot of 5p’s !!

us buttonUnited States of America As of July 2013, 17 states and 98 cities & county’s across the U.S. had either bans in place or pending. As of July 2014, that number had grown to 20 states and 132 cities meaning some 20 million U.S citizens are now living in an area where plastic bags are banned. The U.S alone uses 12 million barrels of oil every year to meet plastic bag demand. Every year in the U.S one hundred billion plastic bags are discarded.

mexico buttonMexico Mexico now fines stores for giving plastic bags to their customers since August 2010. Plastic bags were one of Mexico’s biggest pollution problems.

brazil Brazil imposed bans on plastic bags effective in October 2007.

australia buttonAustralia Although the nation does not ban lightweight bags, the states of South Australia and North Territory along with some cities have independently banned the bag. Coles Bay, Tasmania was the first location in Australia to ban the bag. The introduction of the ‘Zero Waste’ program in South Australia led to its lightweight bag ban in October 2008. It is estimated that 400 million bags are saved each year.

s africa buttonAfrica Widespread bans and charges exist on plastic bags across Africa. South Africa, Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda Botswana, Kenya & Ethiopia all have total bans in place.

asia buttonChina has total bans in effect regards plastic bags since June 1st 2008.

bangladesh_640Bangladesh introduced a strict ban in 2002 after the occurrence of floods from 1988 to 1998 that submerged two-thirds of the country in water. The cause was from littered plastic bags. A prinicpal engineer said due to the change in plastic bag usage, Dahka will be a ‘flood free zone’ in ten years.

france_french_flag France After pressure from shoppers, the biggest supermarkets in France imposed a ban on free carriers. They now charge between 2p and 42p for reusable bags. This has removed millions of free bags from high streets. The city of Paris adopted a full ban, effective January 2007.

belgium_belgian_flagBelgium A plastic bag tax was adopted across Belgium in 2007.


Article by The Grocery Box Company Ltd.