Avoid double taxation on wines and spirits in Guernsey

December 7th, 2011 by Richard Lord

The States of Guernsey budget for 2011 recommends a five pence tax increase on a 750 ml bottle of wine (5.5% to 15% of alcohol by volume) to bring the total tax per litre to £1.85.

The 2011 budget proposes a 34 pence tax increase on a litre of spirit to £10.01 per litre.

That is not the only tax homeowners will pay on a bottle of wine or spirit if they deposit their empty bottles in their household ‘black bag waste’, which is sent to the Mont Cuet landfill.

Ten heavy bottles put out in open bags for household garbage collection on 29 November 2011 (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Household waste currently costs £140.70 per tonne to deposit in the Mont Cuet landfill not including the price of collection and delivery.

According to figures provided by the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) the Mont Cuet landfill gate fees are higher than any other landfill gate fee in the UK.

Empty wine bottles range in weight from 350 to 900 grams.

Using an average of 500 grams, the Mont Cuet gate fee for one empty bottle of wine exceeds seven pence.

If householders put partially filled bottles of drink into the household waste the gate fee will be even more and could exceed 20 pence per bottle.

A few bottles collected from open bags put out for collection with the household waste in St Peter Port on 29 November 2011. Two of these bottles are partially filled and will cost more to deposit in the Mont Cuet landfill. (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Reducing the weight of waste sent to Mont Cuet will have the largest controllable influence on reducing parish rates, which is dominated by the very high Refuse Rate home owners pay.

Guernsey householders taking all their empty clean glass bottles to Guernsey’s bring banks will substantial reduce the weight of household waste.

Food waste is the largest category of household waste by weight so if you have a small patio or a small garden you can compost all your food waste (mixed with garden clippings) and further reduce the Mont Cuet tipping fee paid by your parish and consequently reduce the parish Refuse Rate.


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