Weak green tax can lead to more single-use plastic bags in Vietnam: business group

By VnExpress   February 7, 2017 | 10:52 pm PT
The weight-based environmental tax can do more harm than good if businesses try to ease the burden by making and using thin plastic bags.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has weighed in on a debate involving changes to the country's Environmental Protection Law.

Lawmakers are considering raising the environmental protection duty imposed on petroleum products by up to three times to VND8,000 per liter, and on plastic bags from the current VND30,000-50,000 to VND40,000-80,000 per kilogram, according to a proposal prepared by the finance ministry.

However, the VCCI, which represents thousands of businesses across the country, said in a statement that plastic bags should be taxed individually instead of by weight.

It said that when plastic bags are taxed based on their weight, producers are tempted to produce thin plastic bags.

While disposable, thin bags require less material, they are unlikely to be reused and are more difficult to recycle, which means these single-use bags are more harmful to the environment than thicker bags, it said.

“Current taxes do not go far enough to protect the environment,” it said.

The VCCI also said taxes should also be imposed on other plastic products like Styrofoam cups and boxes.

The environment ministry estimates that Vietnamese use more than 800 tons of plastic bags every day.

Official figures from 2014 showed that in Ho Chi Minh City, nine million, or more than 50 tons of plastic bags, were being used every day, which was twice the number from four years earlier.

Related news:

Vietnam mulls environmental tax hike on petroleum products, plastic bags

Environment tax threatens Vietnam coal giant

go to top