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Ireland plastax—taxes plastic bags, drops use 90%

February 04 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

There is a lot of chatter across the globe regarding how to address the tsunami-esque plastic problem we've all created.

Increasingly there are various angles and multiple solutions to this problem.. outright bans, phase-outs, etc.

Ireland's approach is simple. Pass on the larger, more accurate cost of using these raw materials. They recently implemented a 15 cent-per-gag tax five months ago on plastic shopping bags and cut their use by more than 90% and raised millions of euros in revenue. Anyone else impressed?

Plastic use by the numbers

43 billion
Number of plastic bags (as of 2/1/08) used worldwide so far this year

Number of bags used per minute

Source: and NYT
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