Sunday, February 3, 2008

Motivated by a Tax, Irish Spurn Plastic Bags

DUBLIN — There is something missing from this otherwise typical bustling cityscape. There are taxis and buses. There are hip bars and pollution. Every other person is talking into a cellphone. But there are no plastic shopping bags, the ubiquitous symbol of urban life.

In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags; customers who want them must now pay 33 cents per bag at the register. There was an advertising awareness campaign. And then something happened that was bigger than the sum of these parts.

Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable — on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog. read more here


clintpatty said...

There's some island where registration for a personal automobile is twice the blue book or whatever value of the automobile per year. Personal automobiles aren't that popular, but they're increasing as a silly status symbol, sort of like Hummers in Japan. It's a lot more reasonable to do something like that in an island that you could walk across in a day than in the US where some people commute over 40 miles each way every day.

Tyler said...

Reusable cloth or canvas bags are a smart way to go I usually use my Chrome Bag it is big enough for my shopping when I worked at Bruno's 10 years ago there where a few customers that would bring there own canvas bags they where thinking way ahead of the curve I should get a few reusable bags myself but for now the Chrome Bag works

Bello Velo said...

Countries that have banned or taken action to discourage the use of plastic bags include Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan. Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, also has banned the bags.

As far as Clint's point most countries have a real train service ( subsidized by the government) that can get people back and forth. It has been working all over the world for a long time and they are affordable. Oh and check this out most trains have a bicycle car too.

Now I know you republicans are against federally subsidized transportation(amtrack). so they should walk. just out of principle:)

clintpatty said...

I'm 'more Republican' than you and against all subsidized transportation. That means any government involvement with oil. That also means roads. No kickbacks and money from lobbyists and no friends in the oil or gas industry benefiting. But don't half ass it. Have plenty of transit options if you're going to have roads.

Same with health care. Socialized health care could be done well and overall cost us less and benefit assholes less than what we have now. If government had been staying out if it over the past 100 years and wasn't so involved in insurance, drug companies, drug approval, etc, I'd have a different attitude. I'd rather them get out of it now, but I keep growing less opposed to socialized health care with the play capitalism we have now.