Government set to introduce new environmental taxes

The Government has announced plans for more taxes on environmental waste - such as plastics, sing...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.24 6 Nov 2019

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Government set to introduce ne...

Government set to introduce new environmental taxes

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.24 6 Nov 2019

Share this article

The Government has announced plans for more taxes on environmental waste - such as plastics, single use cups and take away food containers.

The new measures would also see landfill subject to these environmental levies.

Environment Minister Richard Bruton says they are to encourage more sustainable behaviour.


The plans are to be put out to public consultation.

The proposed first phase of levies would see an increase to the existing Plastic Bag Levy from the 22c to 25c.

The levy would also be widened to include medium weight plastic bags - however 'bags for life' bags wwould remain exempt.

environmental taxes You will pay more for a plastic bag | Image: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/PA Images

There would also be a so-called 'Waste Recovery Levy' at €5 a tonne.

This would apply to the three key waste recovery options: landfill, incineration and export.

The Landfill Levy would also increase by €5 per tonne, to €80 a tonne.

While a levy on disposable cups would also be brought in.

However the rate is yet to be determined following market research - but it is likely to be 10c, 15c or 25c.

On the introduction of a coffee cup levy, Minister Bruton said: "The introduction of a coffee cup levy has clear benefits for the environment, when you consider that 22,000 disposable coffee and tea cups are used every hour.

"Our first response must be to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place.

"The coffee cup levy should also lead to savings for consumers who make the switch, as well as savings for retailers who have to carry less disposable stock.

"In introducing a coffee cup levy, clear pricing information will be vital. Clear information regarding price will be important in driving change."

He added that shops will be called on to display pricing information so that their customers have full information on coffee prices, and any added charge for using a single use cup.

These changes would come into force during 2020 and 2021.

environmental taxes Charges will also be brought in, from 2022, on takeaway food containers | Image: Anthony Behar/SIPA USA/PA Images

It is also proposed to develop a second phase of levies, to come into effect from 2022.

These would focus on take away food containers and food packaging in retail outlets - such as those for bakery items, fruit, vegetables etc.

The exact scope and rate of such levies is to be developed, but these items will also be included in the consultation.

The Government says all revenue raised from these measures will go into an environment fund, and be reinvested in environmental action.

Minister Bruton added: "Climate disruption is the biggest challenge facing this generation.

"A tonne of food wasted or single use packaging tipped into a landfill, results in the six tonnes of carbon which it took to make that food or packaging, completely lost to the world.

"Even if such waste is not avoided, residual waste could be halved if businesses and homes put things in the right bin.

"These changes, we hope, will make people more conscious of this and will encourage people to make small changes such as bringing their own bags shopping, or their own cup when going for a coffee, that can make a difference.

"All of the funds collected will go back into environmental action. Industry too will be expected to make changes and we will be designing levies on food packaging and takeaway containers."

A consultation on the above proposals will be open from 9:00am on November 6th until December 20th 2019.

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Coffee Cup Levy Disposable Cups Environmental Levies Environmental Taxes Environmental Waste Latte Levy Plastic Bag Levy Plastics Public Consultation Richard Bruton Single Use Cups Take Away Food Containers Waste Recovery Levy

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