THE Government has approved a draft law introducing a tax on plastic waste.

The tax will consist of €0.45 for every kilogram of plastic packaging and is expected to raise around €724 million.

According to the Ministry for Ecological Transition, this tax will impact the manufacture, import or acquisition of non-reusable plastic packaging from EU countries for use in the Spanish market.

This initiative falls within the EU’s strategy of waste reduction, similar to what the UK and Italy are planning to introduce.

The European Commission has been urging Spain for years to increase its green taxes and introduce bigger fines for those activities that contaminate most.

Teresa Ribera, Ecological Transition Minister referred to the ‘absolute disproportionate, irrational and irresponsible’ use of plastic packaging.

The Government first started a public consultation on green taxes in February, when it discussed the possibility of introducing a tax on single-use plastic packaging.

The draft now needs to go through Congress and Ribera hopes that it will go into effect at the start of next year.

It will also include a ban on single-use items such as straws, starting from July 3 2021, similar to what the UK is set to introduce in October this year.

In addition, restaurants and bars will have to offer customers tap water free of charge, regardless of whether they continue to sell bottled water.

Recycling is also a big part of this new law, with Spain so far only recycling 37.8% of its waste and this draft seeks to reduce waste generation by 15% in 2030 compared to 2010.

From 2025 there will also be a system in place for collecting used clothing.

The new legislation sets out penalties of between €50,000 and €2 million for those who dump waste outdoors or who bring dangerous waste into the country.

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