South African government is considering taxing e-cigarettes and plastic straws in an effort to gear consumer behaviour towards more sustainable choices, as well as to boost its green and health taxes. As the levy on plastic bags will be double as of April, the National Government is thinking about extending it to all single-use plastics. These will include straws, utensils and packaging.

The government will also start taxing heated tobacco products immediately, and plans on introducing a levy on electronic cigarettes next year.

“Globally, policymakers are looking at regulating and taxing these products due to concerns about their health effect,” the National Treasury said.

There are also other green levies and taxes that will be introduced, which Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni announced during his 2020 Budget Speech:

– The carbon tax rate will increase by 5.6% in 2020

– Government proposes increasing the vehicle emissions rate for passenger cars to R120 per gram of carbon dioxide per emissions kilometer, and R160 for a double cab truck from April

– The levy on incandescent light bulbs will increase to R10 rand from R8

-The plastic bags levy will increase to 25 cents from 12 cents

– Excise duties on all alcohol and tobacco products, excluding traditional African beer, will increase by between 4.4% and 7.5% and the general fuel levy will rise by 16 cents

– The government is also preparing an environmental fiscal reform paper

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