Banning plastic bags? This time it’s not just a city, or a county, but a whole country!
No More Plastic Bags In Italy
Italy has banned plastic bags, beginning January 1, 2011.
Planet Ark reports:
Italians use about 20 billion bags a year — more than 330 per person — or about one-fifth of the total used in Europe, according to Italian environmentalist lobby Legambiente.
Starting on Saturday, retailers are banned from providing shoppers polyethylene bags. They can use bags made of such material as 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 15 euro cents (20 U.S. cents) that cut use by 90 percent within a week.
“You are talking of a revolution that is already under way,” Legambiente scientific chief Stefano Ciafani said of the shift to biodegradable bags.
Two hundred municipalities out of Italy’s 8,000 have introduced their own plastic bag bans, including the cities of Turin and Venice, Ciafani said.
Banning plastic bags was originally set for January 2010, but was delayed due to industry opposition.
Plastic Bags Are Wrong For So Many Reasons
It seems obvious that plastic bags should be banned because they are made from petroleum, take too long to break down, and become eye sores and environmental hazards.
Los Angeles County Banned Plastic Bags In November
Care2′s Beth Buczynski reported here last month that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors was the latest authority to ban plastic bags, in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. As she wrote, grocers that continue to offer plastic bags will be required to charge customers 10 cents per bag.
Several Nations Have Already Banned Them
Other nations and cities are also acting to ban plastic bags: in Ireland a steep fee on plastic bags introduced in 2003 has led people to use reusable cloth totes almost exclusively instead of plastic bags.
China, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands have followed suit, and other countries have also contemplated such a ban.
In the United States, plastic bag bans have passed in San Francisco, Oakland and Malibu.
What’s Wrong With Cloth Bags?
In Italy, many supermarket chains have started using biodegradable bags ahead of the plastic bag ban. And why not? Doesn’t that make perfect sense? And what’s wrong with taking your own bags to the supermarket, just like people used to do not so long ago?