CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA ? JULY 03: The biodegradab
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  • Finance minister Tito Mboweni said the plastic levy at retailers will increase from 12c to 25c at the beginning of April.
  • The national Treasury said a review of the plastic bag levy will be undertaken, including to clarify the treatment of compostable bags.
  • It also said it will consult with role-players to possibly extend the current levy on plastic bags to all single-use plastics, such as straws.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider South Africa.

The plastic bag levy on shopping bags at South African retailers will increase from 12 cents to 25 cents at the beginning of April, finance minister Tito Mboweni revealed in his Budget speech on Wednesday.

This as the South African government is trying to plug a massive budget deficit hole, which will amount to R370.5 billion in 2020. 

Budget documents revealed that while progress has been made to reduce plastic pollution in the South African environment, such pollution remains a significant problem, particularly for marine life. 

See also: Here are the biggest bombshells in the Budget – including taxpayers getting R2 billion in tax relief

It is estimated that 12.7 million tonnes of plastic litter the world’s oceans, the national Treasury said.

A review of the current plastic bag levy will be undertaken, including to clarify the tax treatment of compostable bags, Treasury said.

It promised to consult role-players on extending the current levy on plastic bags to all single-use plastics used for retail consumption, including plastic straws, utensils, and packaging.

These changes are due to be implemented in 2021.

Several major South African retailers, including Woolworths, and Pick n Pay, have started to phase out single used plastic in its operations with some stores no longer offering plastic bags.

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