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Checkout at 40: Public Not Paying For Plastic Bags (March 2006)

By Publications Checkout
Checkout at 40: Public Not Paying For Plastic Bags (March 2006)

This year, Checkout commemorates its 40th anniversary under its current ownership, and with this in mind, every week, Retail Intelligence is going to ‘reel in the years’ and publish a story from our extensive archives. This month we look back at March 2006, when authorities were struggling to enforce the plastic bag levy.

Local authorities across Ireland are to inspect retail outlets to ensure that consumers are being made pay for plastic bags.

Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, has asked his Department to instruct local authorities across Ireland to carry out inspections on whether the plastic bag tax is being enforced. An enforcement team has been set up to monitor this inspection process, with the aim of ensuring that complete compliance with the regulations is achieved.

This decision is believed to have been taken following representations from consumer and environmental groups, who were concerned that retailers were not adequately enforcing the levy and asking consumers for 15 cent for every plastic bag.

“From representations I have received there would appear to be some anecdotal evidence of slippage in application of the levy. I have asked my Department to write to local authorities asking them to carry out inspections of retail outlets, with a view to impriving current practices,” Roche said.


Since the plastic bag tax was introduced in 2002, it has earned some €55 million for the Environment Fund, which is used to fund a number of environmentally-friendly activities and resources. These resources have contributed to a ‘much improved recycling performance’, the Minister said.

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