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France to create 'picnic tax' on pollution

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Sept 15, 2008
France's environment minister Monday announced plans for a "picnic tax" on throw-away plates, cups and cutlery, as part of a broad drive to slash polution and energy use.

"We are doing it," Jean-Louis Borloo told RTL radio, saying the levy would apply to items made of non-recyclable plastic or paper, and would represent about 90 eurocents per kilogram.

"Rather than a tax, we prefer to call it a contribution on high waste-producing products," his ministry said, adding that the proceeds would be used to subsidise recyclable goods.

The measure is the latest in a series of initiatives by France to lower its bill for imported energy and its emissions of greenhouse gases.

The government earlier this month announced it would offer interest-free loans of up to of 30,000 euros (43,500 dollars) from January 1 to encourage energy efficiency in the home.

Previous moves include a bonus system for cars in which taxes are increased or lowered according to the vehicle's carbon pollution. The system is shortly to be extended to televisions, light bulbs and other household gadgets.

France's environment ministry is pushing for the adoption of a raft of new green taxes and incentives in the 2009 budget.

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Rochester NY (SPX) Sep 15, 2008
Marine vessels are no longer resting in a safe harbor. The forecast for clear skies and smooth sailing for oceanic vessels has been impeded by worldwide concerns of their significant contributions to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that impact the Earth's climate.

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