Denmark puts tax on carrier bags

Safety & Legislation

Starting this year, the cost of a carrier bag in store it wil be at least DKK4 (€0.52), regardeless of its size.

Posted on Jan 05 ,09:03

Denmark puts tax on carrier bags

Denmark decided to take attitude agains plastic waste and banned thin carrier bags while cahrging at least DKK4 (€0.52) for the ones that are allowed in the stores. The thin plastic knit bags can typically not be used more than once or twice, and that is a poor use of resources.

"The vast majority of our plastic waste today goes up in smoke in the large incinerators. It is bad for both the climate and nature. Now we ban the plastic bags that are typically not recycled. You can still buy a carrier bag for your goods, but in future they will cost at least 4 kroner regardless of size. That way, we will all have to actively decide if we really need a bag," says Environment Minister Lea Wermelin. The minimum price established for a carrier bag regardless of size or material gives a clear signal that it pays to reuse its carrier bags and not throw them away after only one use.

"The pace of the green transition must pick up, and we must reuse and recycle much more than we do today. The ban on free carrier bags is one step in the showdown with a use-and-throw-away culture. The amount of plastic waste discharged into the world's oceans each year, for example, is equivalent to an entire truck with plastic being emptied into the sea every single minute. We must have changed that," added Lea Wermelin.

The ban on handing out thin plastic carrier bags with and without handles and the minimum price of 4 kroner came into force on 1 January 2021. The rules have been adopted by the government and a broad majority in the Danish Parliament.
However, the very small thin plastic bags that were used from the fruit / vegetable department to, for example, fruit and vegetables will still be legal, as they serve a purpose in terms of avoiding food waste and food hygiene. The consumption of this type of plastic bags is relatively small in Denmark.

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