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Sweden wants to abolish tax on plastic bags again

The country's government considers the tax no longer necessary.


In the middle of last week, Swedish Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari announced the abolition of the plastic bag tax for November 2024. The tax of about 25 cents per shopping bag and about 2.5 cents for thin fruit and vegetable bags was introduced in 2020 to implement EU regulations. The EU Packaging Directive aims to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags with wall thicknesses between 15 and 50 micrometres to 40 per person by 2025. This is to reduce the waste they generate as well as to promote a more efficient use of resources. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EAP), Swedes still used 74 plastic bags per capita annually in 2019. In 2022 the number had fallen to 17 per capita. So this is well below the EU target says Environment Minister Pourmokhtari. In some cases, the lower consumption of plastic bags had also led to a switch to paper bags, which, however generally would consume more energy in production than plastic bags. According to media reports, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has strongly advised against lowering or abolishing the tax, as this would risk increasing the number of plastic bags scattered in nature again. The Maritime and Water Authority had expressed similar views.

  • (Sept. 13, 2023)
  • (Sept. 14, 2023)
  • Kunststoff Information (Sept. 19, 2023)
  • Photo: Fotolia

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