Ireland cuts way down on plastic bag use

February 3, 2008

Ireland has successfully banned the free distribution and reduced the overall use of plastic bags in businesses throughout the country.

Weeks after Ireland began charging a tax in 2002, which is now 33 cents per plastic bag at the checkout in shopping centers, the total use of them fell 94 percent, the International Herald Tribune reported Friday.

"There's been a huge turnaround on this issue and I think with in the next 12 months, companies that want to be seen as leaders in the environment -- like Wal-Mart and Home Depot -- will be offering reusable options," reusablebags.com founder Vincent Cobb told the International Herald Tribune.

All of the plastic bag tax money in Ireland is given to the Environment Ministry for environment improvement and enforcement projects.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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