Clean Pacific Roundtable: $4m collected from plastic bag levy

Environmentalist and consultant Dwain Ah Tong speaking during the Clean Pacific Roundtable discussions at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva on Monday, August 20, 2018. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

MORE than $4 million was collected by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service from the plastic bag levy over the past 12 months.

This was highlighted by two-time International Award Winning Sustainability manager Dwain Qalovaki at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) Clean Pacific Roundtable at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva yesterday.

Mr Qalovaki said the amount collected was from August 1, 2017, until July 31, 2018.

He said $4,358,168.80 was collected from levying 43,581,688 plastic bags. “If the performance of the 10 cents levy is an indication of Fiji’s future plastic bag consumption, with the increase to 20 cents we can expect further consumer behavior to reduce national dependence in the next 12 months,” he said.

Mr Qalovaki added the total amount collected were from 4281 businesses around Fiji with a point of sale system.

“Official government records suggest that the annual 2010 usage was 70m plastic bags, therefore, the intention of the plastic bag levy to reduce consumption is working,” he said.

The SPREP Clean Pacific Roundtable will conclude tomorrow (Wednesday).

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