Italy bans use of plastic bags

A ban on the use of plastic shopping bags in Italy has come into force after it was revealed that shoppers in the country previously used about 20 billion bags – about one-fifth of the total used in Europe.

Retailers, however, have warned that the ban, which came into force on 1 January, could cause chaos at the checkout after the legislation was rushed through.

Shops are now banned from providing customers with polyethylene bags, although they can use bags made of biodegradable plastic, cloth or paper.

Other European countries have tried voluntary schemes to cut plastic bag use, such as promoting reusable cotton bags.

In 2002, Ireland imposed a levy on bags of 10p that cut use by 90 per cent within a week.

Related content

Leave a reply

Food and Drink Technology