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Do taxes protect the environment?
2011/7/29 23:18:40
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Hong Kong provides an interesting test case. According to the survey above, as plastic bag use has decreased the output of non-woven fabrics has increased more than 90 per cent. In other words, consumers have switched to non-woven fabric bags to avoid the levy. These are often purchased from retail outlets and many retailers print company logos onto the bags as a marketing tool.
However, due to a lack of publicly available knowledge, many people think non-woven fabric bags are environmentally friendly. In reality this is not true.
Most reusable bags available in Hong Kong are made of non-woven fabrics, which contain up to 85 per cent plastic. This means that the average reusable bag contains enough plastic to produce 30 to 50 plastic shopping bags. They currently account for about 0.4 percent of all disposed plastic bags. A government survey found that only 0.4 per cent of bags disposed in landfills were of the reusable non-woven kind, but the Plastic Bags Manufacturers’ Association concluded that overall plastic use had increased almost 30 per cent as a result of the rise in the use of non-woven bags, rubbish bags and smaller plastic bags that supermarkets provide to package fruit, vegetables and raw meat.
The Hong Kong government is now conducting a public consultation on extending the scope of the levy to other plastic bags, including non-woven fabrics. Moreover, since the administration cost for collecting levy from retailers is deemed too high, the government has suggested that retailers should collect the tax, but there is no consensus on this.

There is no doubt that implementing a plastic bag tax increases reduces usage. But non-woven fabrics bags used as a marketing tool don’t seem to be the answer. Recycling and waste sorting – two initiatives that are underdeveloped in Hong Kong – could also help. A tax on plastic bags is of limited use if it is used in isolation.  



Author:Huzhou jihe package products Co., Ltd. 
Main Product:non woven bagnon-woven fabricstorage box,dress bag,shelf hanging organizer,shopping bag  

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