Ireland’s Plastic Bag Tax Reduces Waste

Dublin — The Irish government, which has been taxing residents about 15 cents apiece for using plastic shopping bags instead of more durable, reusable bags, has seen a drastic reduction in plastic bag use and has generated about $3.4 million in profits, according to the government.

The tax, introduced in March, has lowered the consumption of disposable bags by 95 percent, from about 500 million bags in the first five months of the program to less than 25 million.

Waste management authorities in England and the United States already have expressed interest in emulating Ireland’s plan to reduce waste associated with disposable bags.