According to Quebec Environment Minister, Lise Beauchamp, the Charest government is now deciding whether to tax plastic shopping bags: “They are a plague on the environment. So we will take a decision this fall.” A 20-cent tax per shopping bag is the number now being bandied about.
It’s estimated it can take 400 years for a plastic shopping bag to decompose. The strategy is that a tax on plastic bags would push customers to turn to reusable grocery bags.
The results of this strategy is best illustrated by the example of Ireland. Introduced in 2002, Ireland’s tax of 15 cents per bag reduced their use by 95 per cent. Based on the estimate Quebecers use 1.5 billion plastic shopping bags annually a 90 per cent reduction would generate $30 million for the government. Presumably this money would be dedicated to environmental concerns.
In your opinion should the Quebec government levy a small tax on plastic shopping bags?
Would you be happy to pay such a tax?