ENVIRONMENT Minister John Gormley wants to double the plastic bag levy to 44 cent in a further bid to stop littering, it was confirmed yesterday.
His department is expected to publish draft laws next month allowing for the proposed hike in the levy.
Defending green taxes, the minister told a Dublin environmental conference the charge was initially resisted by consumers but now proved popular.
“I am encouraged somewhat by previous environmental taxes that we introduced, such as the plastic bag levy, which initially met with certain resistance,” the Green Party leader said.
“We’re putting it up this year to 44 cent and yet it is hugely popular.”
A spokesman for the minister said a bill is expected to be published next month allowing him to double the plastic bag levy, with the legislation scheduled to be in place by the end of the year.
“It’s to ensure that there’s a sufficient deterrent against people moving back to plastic bags,” he said.
The levy was first introduced in March 2002 at 15 cent per bag.
The Department of the Environment claimed that despite having an immediate affect, its impact weakened over time and so the charge was increased to 22 cent in July 2007.