May 15, 2022

Proposed Law: Plastic Bag Tax

The platic bag tax went into effect back in 2016, requiring supermarkets to charge 10 agurot per plastic bag in an attempt to minimize their use to the benefit of the environment.

At the time the discussion was that this would be the first step with eventually the tax being expanded to include all shops, not just supermarkets.

MK Yorai Lahav-Hertzano (Yesh Atid) has proposed a law that would now expand the original tax to include medium and small businesses being required to charge the 10ag tax for plastic bags. Additionally the proposal would allow the Minister of the Environment to set the maximum tax at 1nis per bag instead of the maximum today of 60ag per bag.

According to Ynet, since 2016, when the tax first went into effect, there has been an 80% decrease in the use of plastic bags. In recent years though there has actually been a slight increase again, with 2020 being marked with a 9% increase over 2019, and both 2018 and 2019 seeing a 5.5% increase.

While Israelis initially did not want to pay the tax and largely stopped using the bags, it seems we got used to it little by little and also thought the 10ag charge was not significant enough to change our habits. Personally, I still use them much of the time. 

I think that as important as this tax, or its goal, might be, now might not be the best time for it, considering the general rise in cost of living we are going through right now. 

That being said, I do wonder why they only charge 10ag per bag if they have been allowed to charge up to 60, and now up to 1nis if the proposal passes. It is not like any government to charge less tax than allowed. And why expand the law to small business rather than first charge the maximum allowed?




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6 comments:

  1. The stores charge the minimum because they don't keep the money - it goes to the government. Why should they annoy their customers without any benefit to themselves?

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    1. I might be wrong but as far as I understand it, it isnt the stores that get to choose how much to charge but the Minister (of Environment) has the leeway to decide the level of the tax

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  2. On the subject, I don't get the idea with the bottle tax. Personally, it's so inconvenient to return bottles in the supermarkets I go to that I never do and I rarely see others returning bottles. The self serve automated system used in Osher Ad is a something I would use, but I don't shop there...

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    1. I find it a big pain in the neck, even the great machine like Osher Ad and Yesh have, and therefore dont bother. The machine itself is great but every time I have gone there is someone old loading tens or hundreds of bottles into the machine, with a nice line behind him or her each with similar amounts of bottles. I am happy they have a way to supplement their income but it makes waiting to return bottles impossible for me. Maybe each shop needs a few of these machines to ease the bottleneck

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    2. Yesh has a bottle desposit machine? Never seen one there in RBSA

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  3. I thought I remembered seeing one there recently but I dont go in too often so maybe I am mistaking it with a different store

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