ParknShop yesterday said it had cut the number of plastic bags it normally handed out by 43 million over a nine-month period to December last year through No Plastic Bag Day. Managing director Philippe Giard said that from March 6, the first Tuesday of every month would be 'Green Day' at the chain. Customers would be charged 50 cents for each plastic bag, with the proceeds donated to Green Power's Zero Waste Action educational programme. Man Chi-sum, chief executive officer of Green Power, said Hong Kong consumers used 1,200 plastic bags on average a year, leading to about 23 million plastic bags being dumped in landfills each day. Almost a third of the bags are generated by supermarkets, convenience stores, and the catering industry. The imposition of a plastic bag tax in Northern Ireland in 2002 cut consumption from 1.2 billion a year to 91.6 million, Dr Man said, by way of example. He said a plastic bag tax in Hong Kong could cut the annual figure of 8.4 billion bags by 60 to 70 per cent and raise at least HK$370 million in revenue per year. Dr Man urged the government to stop dragging its feet and impose a plastic bag tax this year. He hoped the tax would be introduced in the budget and would be in place this year. 'The government has talked about it for two years but there is still no public consultation,' Dr Man said. 'This budget should be time to set a tax for plastic bags.' The deputy director of environmental protection, Raymond Fan Wai-ming, said a consultant's study on such a tax was drawing to a close and the bureau intended to propose legislation for the tax's introduction.