Israel: Get Ready to Pay for Plastic Bags in the Supermarket


pbaEnvironmental Affairs Minister Yair Peretz is moving ahead with his bill to eliminate or at least sharply curtail the use of plastic bags in Israel. Peretz cites on his Facebook page that two billion plastic bags are used in Israel annually and he feels this is excessive and has a permanent negative impact on our environment.

He feels that his bill will result in a sharp decline in the use of bags as consumers will be charged 60 agorot per bag. He is confident that shoppers will become accustomed to reusing bags and shifting over to reusable cloth and nylon bags instead of the disposable plastic bags.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. 60 agorot–but a cloth bag probably costs 10x that, so it will take a while to recoup your investment. In any case, this is a regressive tax, which impacts the poor more than the rich who are the main supporters of these environmentalist edicts.

  2. Reb Yid,

    You are correct, but you can say the same thing about the tobacco tax and the current alcohol tax. The new taxation methods increased the tax on cheap alcohol. But sometimes, the national benefit is worth having a regressive tax. There have been too many cases of violence among teens where alcohol has been involved, so if the poor have to pay more for Arak, it is worth it. And the health care system has to pay for all the tobacco related illnesses, so smokers should pay for it.

    As for the actual bag issue, I’m against arbitrary laws, even if it is better for the environment. Quite a few businesses have already started charging for bags and encourage people to reuse them on future purchases, and I commend the idea. But that has to be a corporate policy and not a law. You can give government incentives for stores that implement the idea, but you shouldn’t make it a law.

    And Moderator, please change Yair Peretz to Amir Peretz!!!