France to create 'picnic tax' on pollution

16th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

France will implement a levy on items made of non-recyclable plastic or paper such as throw-away plates, cups and cutlery to slash energy use.

16 September 2008

PARIS -- France's environment minister Monday announced plans for a "picnic tax" on throw-away plates, cups and cutlery, as part of a broad drive to slash pollution and energy use.

"We are doing it," Jean-Louis Borloo told RTL radio, saying the levy would apply to items made of non-recyclable plastic or paper, and would represent about 90 eurocents per kilogram.

"Rather than a tax, we prefer to call it a contribution on high waste-producing products," his ministry said, adding that the proceeds would be used to subsidise recyclable goods.

The measure is the latest in a series of initiatives by France to lower its bill for imported energy and its emissions of greenhouse gases.

Earlier in September, the government announced it would offer interest-free loans of up to of EUR 30,000 from 1 January to encourage energy efficiency in the home.

Previous moves include a bonus system for cars in which taxes are increased or lowered according to the vehicle's carbon pollution.

The system is shortly to be extended to televisions, light bulbs and other household gadgets.

France's environment ministry is pushing for the adoption of a raft of new green taxes and incentives in the 2009 budget.

[AFP / Expatica]

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