Denmark to introduce ban on lightweight plastic bags / Similar actions in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Jamaica
The Danish government intends to ban the use of thin, lightweight plastic carrier bags as part of a drive to cut plastic pollution. Such bags are often received when buying meat at the butcher, fruit and vegetables at the greengrocer or pizzas, and are typically not reused, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food said.

The ban on giving away plastic carrier bags for free means that, in future, consumers will have to pay for all carrier bags, regardless of size and material. Consumers will have to bring their own bag or buy a thicker bag which can be reused several times, the ministry said.

“Plastic degrades very slowly in nature and, in worse case scenarios, ends up in the oceans, where it causes damage to the marine environment. But plastic is also a fantastic material to wrap around food so that it lasts longer,” stated Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, minister for Environment and Food. “Therefore, we need to focus on the plastics that we can do without, and the thin, lightweight plastic carrier bags are a natural place to start.”

The Ministry of Environment and Food plans to enter into an agreement with the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Coop and other parties to reduce the Danes' consumption of carrier bags by 50% by 2023. “Consumers can still get plastic carrier bags for their goods, but in the future the bags will cost money, and therefore consumers will have to make a conscious choice as to whether they really need a bag,” added Ellemann-Jensen.

Denmark's environmental protection agency earlier in 2018 published the results of a life cycle assessment of carrier bags made from different plastics and non-plastic materials – see of 22.03.2018. A main finding was that, regarding production and disposal, lightweight LDPE carrier bags available in Danish supermarkets provide the lowest environmental impacts overall.
Growing number of bans on plastic bags
Many European municipalities and countries acted to ban plastic carrier bags in 2018, including Greece (see of 23.02.2018), Romania (see of 28.02.2018) as well as Albania and Serbia (see of 15.05.2018 and 08.11.2018). However, restrictions on plastic bags are rife in other parts of the world too, such as in Jordan (see of 28.03.2018), the US (see of 07.05.2018), New Zealand (see of 26.09.2018) and across Latin America (see of 19.10.2018).

Georgia restricted the production, import and sale of plastic bags that are less than 15 microns thick in October 2018 and Azerbaijan's Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources is also exploring a similar idea for the near future. In January 2019, Jamaica will also be imposing a ban on the production, import, distribution and use of plastic bags. At the same time, the Jamaican government will implement bans on EPS foam and plastic straws, as ways to tackle the country's plastics waste.
19.12.2018 [241326-0]
Published on 19.12.2018
Dänemark: Regierung verbietet dünne PlastiktütenGerman version of this article...

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