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Repak seeks views on packaging tax proposals

Repak, the National Packaging Recycling Body, is seeking views and opinions from its members on the government’s proposed introduction of a broadly-based packaging tax which has been widely circulated to all stakeholders by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

 
The packaging tax was announced as part of the Government’s Programme for National Recovery 2011-2016 and included a statement that it would “drive a waste reduction programme through an extension of Producer Responsibility Initiative and a levy on packaging after appropriate consultation with industry”.
 
The proposed tax has its origins in a recommendation by Comhar, the National Sustainable Development Council, around various eco-taxes which suggests that this packaging tax could raise between €60 million and €80 million per year. In comparison, Repak fees amount to approximately €28 million per year. The intention is to raise an additional €5 billion through various tax and revenue raising measures in 2011-12 and to bring the budgetary deficit below three per cent of GDP by 2014. It’s clear that the proposed Packaging Tax/Levy is part of that revenue raising mechanism.

Commenting on the consultation Repak Chief Executive Dr Andrew Hetherington said, “This consultation comes against the backdrop of previously announced review of all Producer Responsibility Initiatives (PRI) in Ireland. We welcome the PRI review and would seek to co-operate fully with this process.  I am concerned that individual decisions, such as a packaging tax, should be viewed as part of this PRI review and not considered in isolation. Repak fees are in effect a packaging levy on all packaging supplied by participating Repak members, which is specifically ring-fenced to help fund packaging recycling.  It is vital that such a tax does not undermine the success that has been achieved by Repak, householders and industry in packaging recovery and recycling.”
 
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government public consultation on the proposed tax/levy on packaging has invited responses in particular on:-

·         Stakeholders’ overall views on Packaging Levy
·         How a Packaging Levy might be operated
·         International experiences of similar levies
·         How a Packaging Levy should be structured in order to contribute towards a reduction in packaging.
 
The deadline for submission to the Department is Friday 5th August 2011 and Repak is encouraging its members to participate in Repak’s submission by offering views or comments through contacting the Repak Membership Services Manager Declan Martin (Tel: 01 – 4670190 or e-mail: declan.martin@repak.ie.).

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