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 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 20:03 GMT
Durham proposes tax on carrier bags
Shopper with plastic bags
Plastic bags can be a litter nuisance
Shoppers in County Durham could become the first customers in the UK to pay a tax on plastic carrier bags, to help clean up the environment.

Durham County Council is keen to introduce a levy on bags, to encourage people to re-use them, rather than throw them away.

A similar scheme in Ireland has been considered a success.

It is estimated 65 million plastic bags are thrown away in County Durham each year, with most ending up in landfill sites.

Green cash

Now residents are being asked to let the county council know their points of view.

If shoppers favour the proposal, the authority will offer itself as a guinea pig to the government to pioneer a levy scheme on each new bag used in the county.

A 10p levy on plastic bags was introduced in Ireland early in 2002.

Within four months, carrier bag usage had fallen by 90% and almost 6m had been raised to pay for environmental improvements.

The bags can be a litter nuisance and take decades to degrade.


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31 Oct 02 | England
21 Oct 02 | England
20 Aug 02 | Europe
08 May 02 | UK
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