Italy, which uses more than 20 billion plastic bags a year, from the 1st January 2011 banned the non-biodegradable bags.
Italy is the first EU country to ban plastic bags. After stores use up existing stocks of PE bags, they will only be able to offer biodegradable, cloth or paper bags to their customers. It is estimated the amount that stores will charge for biodegradable bags will be at least twice as much as they had charged shoppers for PE bags.
Italy has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe. The environmental group Legambiente estimates italians use about 20 billion bags a year -300 plastic bags a year per person- that is about one-fifth of the total used in Europe . Furthermore it is estimated that 180,000 tons of gasoline would be saved if everyone used just 10 bio-degradable bags a year for their shopping.
The Italian ban is a key initiative promoting environmental sustainability in the retailer sector concerning all the supply chain.
Good blog! It would be interesting to follow-up the reaction of the European Commission, in particular since the criticisms by the business sector regarding this ban.
Consumers will have to forget free bags, and this banning obviously will help.
But maybe retailers think that this is an oportunity to sell one new product with more benefit: the bags!
A good initiative would be offer re-usable bags for free during firsts months.
This free bags can have advertisements of the shop or other enterprises, and selling publicitary space would become a new bussiness.
According to a document to be presented to environment ministers, Austria will ask other member states to back its call for a European Commission investigation into the legality of Italy's ban on non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Austria asserts that plastic carrier bags are classified as packaging under the packaging waste directive, and that packaging that complies with the directive's requirements cannot be banned.
To follow up next step!
Free one-use bags are going to desappear. Consumers will have to change and reusable bags will come back!