The new tax on disposables went into effect on Monday, and Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry believes that it will have a significant impact on the amount of disposables used, Israel Hayom reported.
The tax is 11 shekel ($3.53) per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of disposable product, and will apply to the manufacture and import of disposables, essentially doubling the final price paid by the consumer.
In a statement, the Ministry said, "Taxing polluting items is in line with the principle that 'you break it, you pay for it,' so anyone who chooses to use disposables will pay the cost of the damage to the environment, in a way proportional to the amount he uses."
"Disposables in general and disposables which contain plastic in particular are short-lived by nature and very quickly, after one use, turn into trash which causes significant environmental damage. This trash takes up a growing amount of space in landfills, raises the costs of cleaning and garbage removal, and pollutes the sea, open areas, and public areas."
A study conducted for the Ministry showed that the tax is expected to reduce use of plastic disposables by approximately 40%, Israel Hayom added.
The tax will apply to disposable cups, plates, bowls, silverware, and straws made of plastic.
"Israel is addicted to plastic disposables, and it's time to wean off of them," Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said. "The benefit of disposable dishes is short-lived for the consumers who purchase them, but they create environmental damage which the entire economy suffers from, for many years to come."