In the past 20 years, environmental scientists have been warning society and most world governments of the devastating effects plastic has on our nature. Normally, plastic requires over 1000 years to naturally decompose in nature. However, a plastic bag takes approximately 20-30 years, while plastic bottles usually take over 400 years.

Moreover, what most countries failed to recognize is the means this plastic waste reaches seas, oceans, and rivers. This directly caused the new problem to emerge – the microplastic water pollution. Microplastic is technically pieces of plastic smaller than 5mm, and they easily find a way into our drinking water due to this. Naturally, scientists and governments needed to put a stop to this.

Recycling, Banning and Putting a Levy on Plastic Bags

Probably the most effective and earliest form of fighting plastic bag pollution is recycling, which most countries eagerly started to do and invested in. However, this proved to be insufficient considering the amount of plastic waste we were throwing away. So the next logical step was to impose a levy on every plastic bag sold or outright ban them.

And while some countries took rigorous measures, such as banning plastic bags completely, others weren’t quite prepared to do this just yet. Therefore, imposing a levy is a method many governments decided to run to.

Since the Island of Fiji was largely hit by a lot of waste which found its way to its shores, this small nation had to react urgently.

The Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy (ECAL)

As of August 1st, 2017, all businesses are required to charge a levy of 10 cents per sold plastic bag. With this, Fiji became one of the first countries in the world to declare war against plastic waste.

The officials stated that the money collected with the levy will be used to help ecological organizations and help the country fight pollution. Moreover, both locals and tourists will be reminded of the harmful effects plastic bags have each time they purchase one.

Considering that in 2017 Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) and Data Tech International (DTI) introduced a whole new fiscalization method (TaxCore), implementing this levy into the system technically over-night was a possibility.

Since all of the POS units in Fiji are sending each receipt to TaxCore, online or offline, the Tax Administration has up-to-date information on the tax collected based on the plastic bags sold.

Thanks to the TaxCore platform, the government of Fiji was able to implement the new plastic bag levy on a tight schedule. Most importantly, there were absolutely no issues in the process and most of the businesses managed to comply immediately. This further proves the importance of digitalizing tax collection and fiscal economy alike.

To find out more about TaxCore and its many functions, feel free to get in touch with us.