Bülent TAŞ
Bülent TAŞ

Turkey has introduced tax on plastic bag

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Countries like Germany, Ireland, Denmark, England, applies tax on plastic bag. Some other countries like China, Italy, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Africa totally ban plastic bag. Turkey has joined the countries that imposed tax on plastic bag.

Based on the new article added to the Environment Law, plastic bags are subject to recycling contribution fee starting from 1st of January 2019. Fee has been determined by Presidential Decree as 0,25 Turkish Lira which is 0,045 Us Dollar. Payer of the fee is the final user of the bags. Any sales point of stores must charge the fee to their customer if the customer asked for plastic bag. Although payer of the fee is the final users, stores are charger and collector of the fee. If it is determined that any store failed to charge plastic bag fee, penalty will be imposed on the store. Penalty is calculated in accordance with the size of the sales point of the store. It is charged as 10 Turkish Lira (Around 2 USD) for each square meters of the sales point of the store.

On the other hand, stores need to file monthly return to its tax office and pay the 0,15 Turkish Liras for each plastic bag distributed in the month. That means for each bag, stores will collect 0.25 TL from customer and pay 0.15 TL to Government. If the market fails to file the return or fails to make correct amount of payment to tax office, there will be late payment interest charged in addition to the principal amount of the fee. At the same time there will be administrative penalty which is 20% of the unpaid fee.

It is observed that countries that introduced tax on plastic bag managed to reduce the use of the bag dramatically. Two months application indicates that same is happening in the case of Turkey.

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