Plastic bag levy goes into a black hole

LazyLion

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http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2013/01/29/plastic-bag-levy-goes-into-a-black-hole

Ten years after the government began regulating the use of plastic bags there is no certainty about where the millions of rands paid for bags have gone.

In an attempt to reduce the number of plastic bags polluting the country, the government introduced a 3c levy on recyclable bags in 2003.

Shoppers have since had to buy bags at supermarket tills or use their own.

At the time, the government said the Treasury would collect money from plastic bag manufacturers and allocate it to the creation of "green" jobs and the building of waste-disposal plants.

At first, the handling of the funds collected was outsourced to a section 21 company, Buyisa e-Bags, but a year ago the Department of Environmental Affairs took over the task amid allegations of corruption and abuse of public funds, according to department spokesman Albi Modise.

The plastic bag levy has since been increased to 4c.

Modise said that in 2009-2010 Buyisa collected about R174-million in levies.

It had established 15 plastic bag buy-back centres and supported 25 existing facilities.

But it was not possible to say how many of the 1900 to 3800 new jobs predicted had been created or how many bags had been recycled, he said.

"Currently, there is no obligation on the recycling industry to report on numbers of bags recycled. This will be rectified with the implementation of the Waste Act and its waste-information regulations," Modise said.

Retailers, too, are in the dark about where the money has gone.

Mike Prentice, marketing executive of Spar, said: "What the government is doing [with the money], to be honest with you, we don't know."

Depending on the region and the competition, bags cost consumers about 40c each.

"The problem is that it is our cost; we make nothing on the selling of these plastic bags. They cost us more than we sell them for."

Pick n Pay spokesman Jennifer Crocker said: "We contribute to the plastic bag levy but we have not had any updated information from the government regarding how this levy is spent, or of the establishment of recycling plants."

Annabé Pretorius, of the SA Plastics Recycling Organisation, said the government had not told the industry what it used the levy for: "In its books it is an environmental levy and can be used as fiscal income."

Just one more way in which this government is skimming off you and pocketing the money! :rolleyes:
 
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Fudzy

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It had established 15 plastic bag buy-back centres and supported 25 existing facilities.

But it was not possible to say how many of the 1900 to 3800 new jobs predicted had been created or how many bags had been recycled, he said.

Why did the journalist stop following up those statements?
 

DJ...

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This has been going on for years now and the government refused to address the claims of corruption at the time...
 

killadoob

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Ok so the government is taking 4c, how much money are places like spar, pick n pay making? Mass procuded the bags will only set them back 10-15 cents worst case scenario yet they are 30+ cents.

So the real fleecing isn't the government unless i am mistaken.
 
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Fudzy

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Ok so the government is taking 4c, how much money are places like spar, pick n pay making? Mass procuded the bags will only set them back 10-15 cents worst case scenario yet they are 30+ cents.

So the real fleecing isn't the government unless i am mistaken.

Good question, must be honest though up till now I've never really cared where the money goes. It's easier carrying groceries in packets than loose in your arms.
 

Mila

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It has been reported on so many times. But we rather have a media outcry over some or other fabricated issue the DA did then nobody will find our how much money we stole.

Disgusting.
 

LazyLion

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Ok so the government is taking 4c, how much money are places like spar, pick n pay making? Mass procuded the bags will only set them back 10-15 cents worst case scenario yet they are 30+ cents.

So the real fleecing isn't the government unless i am mistaken.

Did you even read the article?

"we make nothing on the selling of these plastic bags. They cost us more than we sell them for."
 
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Fudzy

Guest
It has been reported on so many times. But we rather have a media outcry over some or other fabricated issue the DA did then nobody will find our how much money we stole.

Disgusting.

Well duh! It's a lot more interesting to see news papers and politicians battling it out than where 4c of every 30c packet is going. The journalist should have followed up to see if the statements of that guy were true rather than going to speak to retailers, they seem to be making a pretty profit off bag sales.
 

DJ...

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Ok so the government is taking 4c, how much money are places like spar, pick n pay making? Mass procuded the bags will only set them back 10-15 cents worst case scenario yet they are 30+ cents.

So the real fleecing isn't the government unless i am mistaken.

Did you really not read the article? Please do...

"The problem is that it is our cost; we make nothing on the selling of these plastic bags. They cost us more than we sell them for."

So yes you are incredibly mistaken, and at no point was private business the issue here.

True to form you are once again, killa...
 
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Fudzy

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Did you even read the article?

Did you even read his post? He is saying that the maths doesn't add up. If the retailers are mass producing the plastic bags (not to mention the more expensive recycled bags) they're spending a lot less than what we're paying for them.
 

DJ...

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Did you even read his post? He is saying that the maths doesn't add up. If the retailers are mass producing the plastic bags (not to mention the more expensive recycled bags) they're spending a lot less than what we're paying for them.

Clearly you didn't read the article, and clearly you are reading too much into a typical killa post. Regardless of what conspiracies he dreams up, the statement was made to address that point already.

So you two can continue speculating about national retailers conspiring to screw the consumer in a regulated market where no evidence exists for this whatsoever, or you could discuss the issues at hand which are the details of the corruption that has since the inception of this levy, been a serious issue...
 
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Fudzy

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Clearly you didn't read the article, and clearly you are reading too much into a typical killa post. Regardless of what conspiracies he dreams up, the statement was made to address that point already.

So you two can continue speculating about national retailers conspiring to screw the consumer in a regulated market where no evidence exists for this whatsoever, or you could discuss the issues at hand which are the details of the corruption that has since the inception of this levy, been a serious issue...

Granted it could be another thread. I don't believe the guy saying he's not making any money though.

As I've mentioned twice now, the article could do with a bit more investigating rather than getting soundbites from retailers.
 

killadoob

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Clearly you didn't read the article, and clearly you are reading too much into a typical killa post. Regardless of what conspiracies he dreams up, the statement was made to address that point already.

So you two can continue speculating about national retailers conspiring to screw the consumer in a regulated market where no evidence exists for this whatsoever, or you could discuss the issues at hand which are the details of the corruption that has since the inception of this levy, been a serious issue...

So dj how much would it cost for 5 million plastic bags to be manufactured and branded with spar's logo? Perhaps we should even talk about 10-20 million bags. Do you have any idea other than tearing into me and acting all angry?

So the government is fleecing us as usual, what is the big deal bro, honestly 4 cents on plastic bags, what is the fuel levy again?
 
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Fudzy

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Righto. Learning disability it is then...

Where is the proof that he's making nothing on selling the bags?

EDIT: And I'd appreciate that you made comments related to the story rather than insults.
 

killadoob

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Where is the proof that he's making nothing on selling the bags?

EDIT: And I'd appreciate that you made comments related to the story rather than insults.

DJ always insults me bro, nothing unusual :D. Just a typical dj getting all angry over a simple comment or question.

Are the bags manufactured here? The levy isn't that expensive compared to actual bag. Yes the government is taking the money and wasting it, but that is normal.
 
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