Swedish government taxes plastic bags from 1 March

I guess I should write something about this as a former dustman, and as a service to English speakers living (or whatever you do) in the country of the fiery coloured donkey of the Apocalypse.

It will be possible to import up to 40 plastic bags “per occasion”, so every 40:th time you wish to dispose of your refuse, you are supposed to pay a visit to Denmark or Finland.

Discussions have been very political but here is a link to the actual law. It was difficult for me to find because in Southern Sweden we use plastpåse for ‘plastic bag’ but laws are written by the Sweons, and their word for it is plastkasse, which I suppose would mean ‘plastic box’ in Denmark.

Norway has a similar system with a fee to an environmental fund, and you can sometimes smell rotten meat, fish and vegetables in towns and villages because people collect two weeks of refuse in larger black bags, which they dispose of at roadside parks if possible.

Sweden had very little plastic littering before this law was enacted. My prediction is it will make life harder for garbage collectors as many people will throw their refuse without bags.

The tax in Sweden will be 3 kr for any bag except if it is very thin (<15μm) and has a volume of less than 7 litres. So it makes sense to use larger bags.

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