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Tax on plastic bags sends prices soaring

Update: January, 31/2012 - 10:03

HCM CITY — The prices of plastic bags have shot up since the Environmental Protection Tax Law came into effect this month, slapping steep taxes on them.

From January 1 a kilogramme of plastic bags attracts a tax of up to VND50,000, as the Government seeks to reduce their use by supermarkets and shopping centres by 40 per cent by 2015.

This is causing difficulties for small traders who consume the majority of plastic bags.

Truong Phat, who runs a stall in Binh Tay market in HCM City's District 6, said the wholesale price of plastic bags has almost doubled to VND65,000-70,000 a kilogramme now.

Pham Thi Thu Hong, who has a fruit shop in Long Bien wholesale market in Ha Noi, said with a kilogramme of small plastic bags now costing VND70,000, up from VND43,000 earlier, she intended to raise the price of fruits to make up.

But despite the higher prices, sales of the bags remain high.

Dang Thi Thu An, a trader in Hue's Dong Ba Market, said she has no choice except to keep buying the bags because she cannot sell her goods without them.

Some small traders in Can Tho have even stocked up on the bags fearing their prices would increase further, sending their sales rising by more than 50 per cent month-on-month.

The owner of a fruit shop in Can Tho said: "I sell around 700 coconuts a day, so I need two kilogrammes of plastic bags to wrap them. With the increase in prices, my profits have fallen significantly."

Hung, a wholesale seller of the bags in Ha Noi's Hai Ba Trung District, said since it is not easy to change consumers' habits, small traders need to use them despite higher prices. — VNS

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