Sweden to abolish tax on plastic bags

TT/The Local
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Sweden to abolish tax on plastic bags
Plastic bags have cost around 3 kronor extra since the tax was introduced in 2020. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden is set to scrap a tax on plastic bags, introduced by the former government to reduce the amount of plastic waste in nature, from January 1st.


Public broadcaster SR was first to report the news that the tax will be scrapped in the right-wing government's spring budget.

The far-right Sweden Democrats and conservative Moderates have been particularly against the tax, which was introduced in May 2020 and added an extra 3 kronor to the price of plastic shopping bags and an extra 30 öre to thin bags used for fruit and vegetables.

The tax ultimately led to many supermarkets raising the price of plastic carrier bags from around 3 kronor to 7 kronor.


The Moderates' coalition partners, the Liberals and Christian Democrats, originally voted in favour of the tax, which was proposed by the Liberals, Social Democrats, Greens and Centre Party as part of the 2020 January deal between the four parties at the time.

But just a year later, the Liberals described the tax as "a failure", arguing that it should instead be aimed at fossil resources.

According to a study carried out by SMED, an agency collecting data on Sweden's environmental emissions, on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, 83 percent fewer plastic bags were sold per krona of supermarket profit after the tax was introduced.

The number of paper bags sold increased substantially over the same period.


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