Spain: Plastic bags to be completely banned from 2021Guillaume
Ban of plastic bags
Towards the end of May 2018, Isabel García Tejerina, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment announced that they intend to ban all plastic bags by 2021. The minister said that all bags with a thickness lower than 50 micron will definitely be banned.
Until this pending bill receives royal decree – which will signal the end of plastic bags – a charge will be introduced from next July. In addition, polybags will be banned from January 2020 in order to completely phase out plastic bags.
Since 1950, 8.3 billion tons of plastic bags have been produced worldwide. That is quite an astronomical figure for a single-use bag which have a normal life of only 20 minutes and as they are quite complexed to manufacture.
The royal decree is considered to be ‘very ambitious’ according to the Spanish Minister because it has followed the European Commission directives. In addition, Isabel García Tejerina is not going to stop there and is planning to introduce a reform that will lead to an obligatory waste recycling system. This reform is similar to the law governing the collection of residues. It will concern all communities which more than 5000 residents.
The Ministry also underlines the considerable efforts of the Spanish people who have vastly decreased their plastic bag consumption throughout the last decade. Average consumption of plastic bags was 317 bags per person in 2007, compared to only 144 in 2014.
To motivate the Spanish people, awareness campaigns will be put in place by the Royal Decree to encourage the reduction of plastic bag usage. These awareness campaigns enable people to be better educated about the negative impact of plastic bags that are dumped in the ecosystem. Additionally, the campaigns will inform people about what kind of alternatives are available to replace their plastic bags.
To analyse the development of plastic bag reduction, manufacturers and importers now have to register how many plastic bags they have produced or imported into the Spanish market.
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