Plastic Bag Tax

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Teaddict
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#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
What do we think about the inclusion of the plastic bag tax in the Queen's Speech?

One of my favourite blogs has written on this very topic recently http://www.theconversative.com/comme...tic-bag-taxes/

It is a curious one because in the short term, introducing such measures are actually very successful. The problem with any stick approach, of course, is that once the stick is removed the negative behaviour resurfaces... if this government genuinely wants to be the 'greenest government ever' then something long term and permanent is required...

There are some fascinating insights from behavioural economics - which I write on in the article - that explain why fiscal disincentives (tax) are not always ideal for dealing with environmental problems. Rather curiously - or perhaps expectedly depending on your political persuasion - money can prove to be a massive problem in developing prosocial behaviours. If we want good environmental citizens then perhaps taxation isn't the answer?

What do you guys think?
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Jacob-C
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#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
It makes sense. We are running out of crude oil to make the bags so the sooner an alternative to the plastic bag is found, the better. It should give businesses an incentive to design bags which are bio-degradable or further promote their re-usable bags.
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RF_PineMarten
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#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
It's a good idea, but what will the money go to? With the landfill tax, for example, some of the money goes to conservation projects through the landfill communities fund. They should do something similar with a plastic bag tax, maximise the environmental benefits from it.
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Falcatas
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#4
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#4
It is utterly stupid. Nothing more than a sin tax against consumerism.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite...3#.U5hWVfldX8g

Another thing is does is actually encourage more corporatism, giving big supermarkets even more of a state advantage.

How much does it cost to produce one plastic bag?
How much profit will each supermarket make from charging 5p per bag? It isn't a tax as it doesn't go to the government but rather goes into the pockets of the supermarkets bosses.
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RF_PineMarten
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Falcatas)
It is utterly stupid. Nothing more than a sin tax against consumerism.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite...3#.U5hWVfldX8g

Another thing is does is actually encourage more corporatism, giving big supermarkets even more of a state advantage.

How much does it cost to produce one plastic bag?
How much profit will each supermarket make from charging 5p per bag? It isn't a tax as it doesn't go to the government but rather goes into the pockets of the supermarkets bosses.
Considering the environmental damage caused by plastic bags it certainly is not stupid, at least in principle.

My understanding is that it is a tax that the supermarkets themselves do not get any money from. Are you sure it goes to the supermarket bosses? I can't find anything that says where the money will go.

The only thing I would like to change about it is to make sure the money goes to environmental causes, like conservation projects. This is what they do with some of the landfill tax money.
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Skip_Snip
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#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
I keep practically every plastic bag which doesn't get torn or whatever, I just shove 'em in the cupboard. People have time to do the same to build up a collection of bags while they're free, if that's what they wanna do, or get some bags for life.

It's really not difficult, and it helps the environment, what's the problem exactly?
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tengentoppa
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#7
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#7
I forgot Cameron's grand announcement that this would be the "greenest government ever".

I'm glad that was all talk and he focussed on other more pertinent issues.
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Quady
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#8
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#8
(Original post by tengentoppa)
I forgot Cameron's grand announcement that this would be the "greenest government ever".

I'm glad that was all talk and he focussed on other more pertinent issues.
Such as what? Certainly wasn't the deficit or export led growth :P

Gay marriage perhaps?
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tengentoppa
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Quady)
Such as what? Certainly wasn't the deficit or export led growth :P

Gay marriage perhaps?
Economic recovery and job creation.
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FDR
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#10
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#10
Good idea. Don't want to pay for plastic bags every shopping trip? Get a couple of these

Image
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Jean-Luc Picard
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#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
I think it's been a long time coming to be honest, I know when I visit Ireland that they charge you for bags there and it seems fair enough to encourage people to use less plastic bags given their environment damage, 5p isn't a huge amount either so if you really need them you can still get them. I try to use the re-usable ones myself but sometimes I forget to bring them with me
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squeakysquirrel
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#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
It is just typical of people in this country to moan about it. The plastic bag used to be known as the unofficial flower of South Africa. The verges were littered with the blasted things. They introduced a charge for them and virtually overnight things improved.
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Basilla
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#13
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#13
(Original post by tengentoppa)
I forgot Cameron's grand announcement that this would be the "greenest government ever".

I'm glad that was all talk and he focussed on other more pertinent issues.
I know someone already brought this up, but surely, logically, the environment is the most pertinent issue? If we don't sort it out we won't have habitats to have jobs and worry about the economy in the first place. We'd be too dead to care.

(Original post by Falcatas)
It is utterly stupid. Nothing more than a sin tax against consumerism.
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite...3#.U5hWVfldX8g

Another thing is does is actually encourage more corporatism, giving big supermarkets even more of a state advantage.

How much does it cost to produce one plastic bag?
How much profit will each supermarket make from charging 5p per bag? It isn't a tax as it doesn't go to the government but rather goes into the pockets of the supermarkets bosses.
I kind of agree. Businesses should be forced to at least donate the profit from the bags to environmentally friendly causes. I know all branches of McDonalds in Wales donate half to the Wildlife Trust (I think it's the wildlife trust) and the rest covers VAT, cost etc.




When it comes down to it I think it's all just a case of convenience. If plastic bags were completely eradicated/banned, people would quickly learn to drag about other means of transportation.
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Studentus-anonymous
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#14
Report 7 years ago
#14
I think it's a bit silly tbh, a scheme to put more money in other people's pockets during a time when a not insubstantial amount of people are struggling as is.

It's also even more punishing because apparently I have to pay extra (even 5p) just for patronising a consumer business for my lunch and then paying up more just so I'm not fumbling around with the meal-deal.

Because lets be honest it's entirely unrealistic to expect people to be carrying around bags just on the off-chance they'll end up in a shop.

I'm also dubious as to how effective these schemes are at 'saving the environment' and other nebulous ideas that sound good if you don't think about it.

If we live in a culture and society that uses a lot of plastic bags, that isn't going to change just because they now cost money, because we are obliged to use them to get consumer products from the outlet to our homes and such.

I'm going to guess that this scheme if it lasts any length of time will still prove to have little to no real impact on whatever half-baked goal it's trying to achieve.
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Rakas21
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#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
(Original post by Teaddict)
What do we think about the inclusion of the plastic bag tax in the Queen's Speech?

One of my favourite blogs has written on this very topic recently http://www.theconversative.com/comme...tic-bag-taxes/

It is a curious one because in the short term, introducing such measures are actually very successful. The problem with any stick approach, of course, is that once the stick is removed the negative behaviour resurfaces... if this government genuinely wants to be the 'greenest government ever' then something long term and permanent is required...

There are some fascinating insights from behavioural economics - which I write on in the article - that explain why fiscal disincentives (tax) are not always ideal for dealing with environmental problems. Rather curiously - or perhaps expectedly depending on your political persuasion - money can prove to be a massive problem in developing prosocial behaviours. If we want good environmental citizens then perhaps taxation isn't the answer?

What do you guys think?
'Agree'.

While normally i would be opposed to the introduction of yet another small and pointless tax (the tax code as a whole here is ridiculous) i actually support this measure. Having had the fortune to work at Waitrose where they do charge for the good bags (10p i think it was) i found that the number of people bringing their own bags was significant. Couple this with the experience in Ireland and the fact that a small northern village actually had businesses agree to do the same and switch to paper bags (i forget which but it was on the news some time ago) and i think this will be a positive and effective measure.

(Original post by Jacob-C)
It makes sense. We are running out of crude oil to make the bags so the sooner an alternative to the plastic bag is found, the better. It should give businesses an incentive to design bags which are bio-degradable or further promote their re-usable bags.
We've been running out of crude oil since at least the 1920's, technology allows us to find new reserves. When one considers the essentially virgin fields in Iran and Venezuela along with new unconventional deposits being found, this is not something you should be worried about.
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the bear
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#16
Report 7 years ago
#16
(Original post by Teaddict)
What do we think about the inclusion of the plastic bag tax in the Queen's Speech?

One of my favourite blogs has written on this very topic recently http://www.theconversative.com/comme...tic-bag-taxes/

It is a curious one because in the short term, introducing such measures are actually very successful. The problem with any stick approach, of course, is that once the stick is removed the negative behaviour resurfaces... if this government genuinely wants to be the 'greenest government ever' then something long term and permanent is required...

There are some fascinating insights from behavioural economics - which I write on in the article - that explain why fiscal disincentives (tax) are not always ideal for dealing with environmental problems. Rather curiously - or perhaps expectedly depending on your political persuasion - money can prove to be a massive problem in developing prosocial behaviours. If we want good environmental citizens then perhaps taxation isn't the answer?

What do you guys think?
bring it on !!

plastic bags are disgusting

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-tech...stic-bags.html
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L0L!
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#17
Report 7 years ago
#17
India doesn't sell them. At least in this docufilm these boys were literally selling plastic bags and then the perosn they got it from said they don't sell them anymore and pointed to a big ad about it. Then they had to resort to crime.
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Skip_Snip
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
If we live in a culture and society that uses a lot of plastic bags, that isn't going to change just because they now cost money, because we are obliged to use them to get consumer products from the outlet to our homes and such.
Well, good, because then lots of money will go toward environmental schemes
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Studentus-anonymous
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#19
Report 7 years ago
#19
(Original post by Skip_Snip)
Well, good, because then lots of money will go toward environmental schemes
As someone has said the money is going to the pockets of the supermarkets/business'.

Even if it was earmarked for 'environmental schemes' that covers a lot of different things, involving lots of different people, and even assuming that money doesn't disappear into their wallets it is no confirmation that what they're doing is actually achieving anything of actual worth.

And that's assuming that the case against plastic bags is well founded and not over-blown.

Then there's all the other practical concerns not immediately environmental, like hygiene and so forth.

If people are relying on that 5p plastic bag tax to fix anything they're going to have a bad time.

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Jacob-C
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Rakas21)
We've been running out of crude oil since at least the 1920's, technology allows us to find new reserves. When one considers the essentially virgin fields in Iran and Venezuela along with new unconventional deposits being found, this is not something you should be worried about.
So you're happy for us to be relying on other countries for our energy? I'm not. We should become self sufficient so that in the case of any crisis we are secure in our energy. We need to cease using fossil fuels and develop new technology not just plod along as we are pretending it'll all be okay.
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