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New Israeli govt to axe plastic tax despite public health concerns

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Jerusalem: The new Israeli government will soon abolish taxation on disposable plastic utensils, the Finance Ministry said, despite public health concerns.

This is one of the first two decisions taken by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party on Sunday, after the new Israeli government was sworn in on Thursday. His other decision was to cancel the tax on high-sugar drinks.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, which have an important say in the far-right new coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu, have claimed that the plastic tax was intended to harm their communities which consume plastic goods at high levels.

The Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry has reported a 50-per cent decrease in the use of disposable plastics just four months after a tax on disposable plastics was imposed on November 1, 2021.

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