Plastic Bag Levy

  • What is the Environmental (Plastic Bag) Levy?

    The Environmental Plastic Bag Levy is a levy that was first introduced on 4th March 2002 by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government as a means of reducing the consumption of plastic shopping bags and to encourage the use of reusable bags. The amount of the levy was initially 15 cent per bag. The levy was increased to 22 cent per bag on 1st July 2007.

    Visit http://www.environ.ie for further information.

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  • What is the law in relation to the Environmental Levy - Plastic Bag Regulations?

    View the legislation in relation to the Plastic Bag Levy at the following links:

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  • What is the purpose of the Environmental Levy - Plastic Bag Regulations?

    Plastic bags are a visible and persistent component of litter pollution in urban, rural and coastal settings and they undermine Ireland's clean, green image.

    The levy on plastic shopping bags has a strong anti-litter emphasis. An environmental levy on the use of plastic bags offers an appropriate solution towards reducing the consumption of plastic shopping bags and thereby reducing the consequential environmental problem of litter.

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  • What is deemed to be a plastic bag under the Environmental Levy - Plastic Bag Regulations?

    Under the Regulations a plastic bag means a bag make wholly or in part of plastic, including biodegradable plastic, which is suitable for use by a customer in a sales outlet, (supermarket, service station, fast food outlet, off licence etc.), other than a bag which is exempted under the regulations, see below.

    Paper bags with a laminate plastic coating and/or handles made wholly or in part of plastic are deemed to be plastic bags - therefore the levy also applies to them under the regulations.

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  • Who has obligations under the Environmental Levy - Plastic Bag Regulations?

    Retailers supplying plastic shopping bags to customers are required to charge the levy at the point of sale. Customers are required to pay the 22-cent levy on all relevant plastic bags. Consumers are encouraged to reuse plastic bags or use other reusable shopping bags.

    Visit http://www.revenue.ie for further information.

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  • What are retailers required to do in relation to the Environmental Levy - Plastic Bag Regulations?

    In accordance with the "polluter pays" principle, retailers collect the levy from customers, who are of course free to reduce or eliminate their use of plastic bags. Retailers are required to separately itemise plastic bags that have a levy applied on till receipts. The levy proceeds are paid into an Environment Fund to be used to finance a range of waste management, litter and other appropriate initiatives aimed at protecting the environment.

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  • Who does the retailer pay the levy to?

    The levy is to be paid to the Collector-General. Levies collected by retailers are to be remitted to Revenue on a quarterly basis. Revenue generated from the Plastic Bag Environmental Levy goes into the Environmental Fund.

    Enquiries in relation to the environmental levy on plastic bags should be made to:
    Services and Transactions Taxes Unit,
    Collector-General,
    Mill Lane,
    Listowel,
    Co. Kerry

    LoCall: 1890 20 30 70
    Email: elevy@revenue.ie

    Website: http://www.revenue.ie

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  • What happens if the levy is not paid?

    In fairness to those persons who meet their obligations, Revenue will ensure that early and effective action is taken against those who have a liability to the levy and fail to pay. The methods of recovery for the levy will be the same as for taxes, viz. sheriff enforcement, civil proceedings for recovery through the courts and attachment of third parties. Other enforcement methods will be used if necessary.

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  • How much is the levy?

    22cent per leviable plastic bag, including "Bags for Life" selling below 70c.

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  • Is the levy charged on all types of plastic bags?

    No. Certain types of plastic bags are excluded from the levy, as set out in the Regulations.

    Broadly the exclusions cover re-usable shopping bags that are sold for 70 cent or more. Bags used solely to contain fresh meat, fish, ice or poultry (whether packaged or otherwise) and bags used solely to contain loose fruit and vegetables and other foods that are not otherwise packaged and bags that do not exceed 225mm in width (exclusive of any gussets), by 345mm in depth (inclusive of any gussets), by 450mm in length, (inclusive of any handles) are not leviable.

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  • How will a customer know that the levy has been imposed on plastic bags supplied to him/her?

    The retailer is obliged to pass on the levy to the customer and the levy will have to be itemised on any invoice, till receipt or docket issued to the customer. Retailers must pass on the full amount of the levy as a charge to customers at the checkout.

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  • What are the alternatives to Disposable Plastic Bags?

    Alternatives to disposable plastic shopping bags, such as reusable bags are now available in shops. The consumer has changed to using these alternatives. Plastic shopping bags designed for re-use are exempt from the levy provided the retailer charges at least 70 cent for the bag.

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  • If I am not charged the 22cent levy for a leviable plastic bag what should I do?

    Retailers are required to comply with the law and charge for plastic bags where appropriate. If you wish to complain about a retailer who is not charging for plastic bags, you should contact your local authority.

    Customer Service,
    Galway City Council.

    Tel: 091 536400
    Email: environment@galwaycity.ie

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  • Who can I contact in Galway City Council regarding the Plastic Bag Levy?

    Customer Service,
    Galway City Council.

    Tel: 091 536400
    Email: environment@galwaycity.ie

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  • Who can I contact in Revenue regarding the Plastic Bag Levy?

    Services and Transactions Taxes Unit,
    Collector-General,
    Mill Lane,
    Listowel,
    Co. Kerry

    LoCall: 1890 20 30 70
    Email: elevy@revenue.ie

    See http://www.revenue.ie

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