So glad my fellow Commissioners took up my idea of a plastic levy. Following today's Communication, we will look into it in more depths, and our experts will analyse thoroughly all possible options of "measures of a fiscal nature" (p 12, para 4) related to plastics, in terms of impact, design and its legal form.
Only then, will we be able to come out with more details. I nevertheless wanted to share with you 3 thoughts about a future plastic levy, responding also in part to questions raised in the public debate:
1 The goal of such a levy should be a triple one:
a) Environment: curb pollution and maritime litter, further recyclability, boost circular conomy
b) Effectiveness: enrich the 'toolbox' proposed by the Plastic Strategy, such as monitoring, by a potentially very effective levy related tool
c) A common approach: initiate a EU level approach in order to avoid a patchwork of different national measures by Member states already in place (be it regulatory measures, prohibiting certain products or excise duties).
2 Design questions should take into account impact and efficiency: One of the main questions will be whether to levy the production of plastic or introduce a financial measure on the end product. We will assess all possible option against the added value it brings and what impact each option has and how effectiv the measure is.
3 Shared revenue between MS and EU budget: It would make good sense that the EU - which has shared competence in the realm of environmental protection and the circular economy - would be allowed to have at least a share of the revenue.
How much revenue will be raised, and thus, how much will go into MS national budgets and the EU budget, depends very much on the design of it (levy at the production or end product). Amounts might also develop over time and, thus, elasticity and possible behavioural changes must be factored in in our analyses.