Adopt­ing plas­tic tax the way to go

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How­ever, one should has­ten to em­pha­size that the South African econ­omy is the largest in the SADC re­gion has ex­port mar­kets in all the coun­tries in the re­gion. This means that it was able to com­bine a host of mea­sures in this re­gard, such a charg­ing tax on lo­cally-con­sumed plas­tic bags as well as cre­at­ing re­cy­cling com­pa­nies which have thus far largely ben­e­fited from col­lec­tion of plas­tic refuse even from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries such as Le­sotho.


It is with­out a doubt that any pol­icy has ex­ter­nal­i­ties; that is neg­a­tive or pos­i­tive ef­fects/im­pacts.

There­fore this means that while it may have a de­sired ef­fect and bring about a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem at hand, it can af­fect both the re­tail­ers and con­sumers in a cer­tain way. For in­stance, in the above men­tioned cases, the neg­a­tive ex­ter­nal­ity was that lower in­come con­sumers were found to be hit hard by the in­tro­duc­tion of taxes which is also a likely sce­nario

in Le­sotho as the struc­ture of the economies of the three coun­tries, that is Botswana, Le­sotho and South Africa are ar­guably the same given the same eco­nomic his­tory they have. How­ever, the im­per­a­tive to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and to bol­ster tax rev­enue puts a coun­try at the cross­roads; there­fore it will be highly ben­e­fi­cial to adopt a tax on plas­tic bag.

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