The trading industry introduces environmental tax on plastic bags

plastic bagsPlastic bags.Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

There will be an environmental tax on plastic bags, but not instigated by the government. The government is however happy that the industry itself is creating an environmental fund.

“With the establishment of the Trade Environment Fund, we kill two birds with one stone: We comply with the EU’s directive on reducing plastic bags, while at the same time achieving a targeted environmental effort against plastic waste,” says CEO Vibeke Hammer Madsen in the organisation Virke.

50 øre per sold plastic bag will be earmarked for the environmental fund. Today, the usual price for a plastic bag in grocery stores is 1 krone. Does this mean that the price will now be 1 krone and 50 øre?

– What the price of a plastic bag will be is up to each business to decide. Our point with the Trade Environment fund is that  50 ore must be earmarked for the fund. What this adds up to in the individual industries, the grocery and retail trade, is up to them to decide, “says Vibeke Madsen.

Virke estimates that there will be approximately NOK 400 million a year ending up in the fund.

The EU has adopted a directive requiring Member States to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags. Norway is obliged to introduce the Directive through the EEA Agreement. According to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, around 930 million plastic bags were used in Norway in 2014,  around 180 bags per person.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today