Retailers mark up plastic bag charges for consumers

The use and production of plastic bags has increased significantly over the years, despite a plastic bag tax which was implemented in 2003.

While the introduction of the tax did curb plastic bag consumption temporarily, it has now turned into a money spinner for retailers who charge up to 50 cents which is in contrast to government's official amount of 8 cents.

If a consumer is paying 50 cents for a bag, where is that additional 42 cents going to? Is it going into supporting recycling or is it really just money in the retailer's pocket?

Prof Linda Godfrey, CSIR

702's Azania Mosaka spoke to principal scientist at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Professor Linda Godfrey, in an effort to understand the issue.

She said that consumers need to understand how the funds are moving through the value chain as there was a lack of transparency.

Professor Godfrey emphasised the importance of directing the monies collected towards developing a recycling economy by ending the lifespan of plastic bags and curbing littering.

Once we generate that money, it has to be used to address these issues have to be re-invested in terms of closing the lifespan of a plastic bag.

Prof Linda Godfrey, CSIR

Listen to the conversation below:

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