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With all the plastic carrier bag taxes, bans and levies that came into play in 2012, we are quite sure that Plastic Carrier Bag associations, manufacturers and suppliers from around the world were happy to step into a new year, but can we really expect 2013 to be a ‘lucky’ year for those working within the plastics industry?

Well, if the headlines are anything to go by, it seems 2013 may well live up to its ‘unlucky’ name, as countries across the globe opt for an outright ban on all single use plastic carrier bags, and levies on paper carrier bags.

In the Northern Californian city of Capitola, the city’s council (backed by environmental groups) has not only voted for a complete ban on plastic bags, and they have also decided to impose a 25-cent levy on all paper carrier bags.

The 25-cent levy will generate $270,000 in 2013 alone, which the council claim will be spent on “street maintenance and improvements.”

In Mauritania, the local government has decided to ban the use of all plastic carrier bags in a bid to protect the environment and the lives of cattle and marine species.   Anyone found to be using, manufacturing or importing plastic bags will be fined and/or sentenced to up to a year in prison.

Mali has joined Mauritania, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Somalia in the ‘global crackdown’ on plastic carrier bags, making Africa the leading continent in complete plastic bag bans.

However, closer to home, the news is good. George Osborne has rejected calls from the Liberal Democrats to introduce a levy of between 5p and 10p on single use plastic carrier bags, as he is understood to be nervous about imposing extra costs on the public during times of austerity.

2013 looks set to be another interesting year for the humble plastic carrier bag, and only time will tell its fate.

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