The Estonian Ministry of Finance is considering to introduce a new tax with the aim to reduce the distribution of free ultra thin plastic bags by local retailers, reports local news agency LETA.
Estonian Finance Minister Sven Sester said that he does not agree with the latest proposal made by the country's Ministry of the Environment to ban the distribution of such bags by local retail outlets starting in July 2017. Before this, the Environment Ministry was considering to establish a minimum price on such bags in January 2019.
Sester said that establishing a minimum price would represent an excessive market intervention by the state, and would simply generate additional revenues for Estonia-based retailers. Currently, local retailers charge an average of €0.15 per plastic bag, but the Environment Ministry is aiming to increase this to between €0.30 and €1, according to various proposals.
Meanwhile, the country's Finance Ministry is currently drafting a packaging excise duty law which is designed to include measures to reduce the distribution of plastic bags in Estonia.
In a similar move, Poland's Environment Ministry is currently drafting a law to introduce a compulsory recycling fee for plastic bags for local retailers. Under the plan, the maximum amount of such a fee is to be set at a maximum of PLN 1 (€0.23), according to the draft legislation.