Plastic Bag Levy Regulations Enforcement

Local authorities regulate compliance by retailers with the plastic bag levy. Retailers must charge customers for plastic bags at the point of sale.

The Environmental Levy Plastic Bag Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 605 of 2001) came into effect on 04th March 2002 and amended by the Environmental Levy Plastic Bag Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 167 of 2007)

The plastic bag levy was first introduced on 4th March 2002 at the rate of 15 cent per bag and amended to 22 cents in July 2007.

The primary purpose of the Regulations is to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic bags by influencing consumer behaviour. All levies are remitted into the Environment Fund.

The levy on plastic shopping bags has a strong anti-litter emphasis. The Regulations do not distinguish between biodegradable plastic bags and other plastic bags. Biodegradable bags still take a considerable time to degrade.

While their use may be preferable in a final treatment situation, such bags will continue to form a visible nuisance where discarded as litter.