Denmark’s new government is working on its forthcoming 2020 budget, and tackling issues pertaining to plastic pollution will be one of its key aspects.
More precisely, PM Mette Frederiksen wants to ban free plastic bags across Denmark and double the tax payable on buying disposable cutlery and plastic bags.
“There is so much plastic in the seas that it is the equivalent of a truck-full of plastic being dumped into the waters every minute of the day. To me, plastic pollution has become a symbol of a global population not properly taking care of its planet,” Frederiksen told Politiken newspaper.
The move, which is expected to generate 200 million kroner for the state coffers in 2020, will reduce the consumption of plastic bags and disposable cutlery by an estimated 20 percent. The tax increase on purchasable plastic bags will push up the price by 50 øre, the government believes.
Konservative and SF have both voiced support for Frederiksen’s plan, while Liberal Alliance and the Danish chamber of commerce, Dansk Erhverv, have taken a stance against it.
“We think it’s a shame if plastic bags are double-taxed. It could lead to retail turning towards other materials that have a more environmentally-detrimental impact than plastic,” Jakob Lamm Zeuthen, the head of environmental issues at Dansk Erhverv, told Ritzau.
The news comes on the heels of Copenhagen taking steps to ban plastic cups earlier this summer. That law will come into effect in 2020.