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Italy bans plastic bags

As of Jan. 1, Italy became the first European nation to ban nonbiodegradable plastic bags nationwide.


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January 5, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

As of Jan. 1, Italy became the first European nation to ban nonbiodegradable plastic bags nationwide.

Shops there will be allowed to hand out any plastic bags they have in stock without incurring penalties, but once those bags are gone they cannot order more.

“It is a great innovation,” said Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo. It “marks a step forward of fundamental importance in the fight against pollution, making us all more responsible for using and recycling. For the law to give positive results, it is necessary that all the commercial entrepreneurs, large or small, and citizens get involved and experiment with alternatives to plastic bags.”

The move places Italy alongside a number of other countries and cities worldwide that have imposed fees or outright bans of plastic bags – often with dramatic results. Ireland imposed a 15 cent bag fee in 2002 and usage of them dropped 94 per cent within weeks.

Also, both France and China have banned plastic bags that are not biodegradable.


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