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Sep 29, 2013

Ministry of Environmental Protection to do away with throwaway bags

I am not a big fan of Amir Peretz, now Minister of Environmental Protection, but I am in favor of his plan to do away with throwaway plastic bags.

As reported by Globes, the ministry is promoting the end of throwaway plastic bags as given out in stores.. to replace them, they will give away, for free for the first few initial months and then for a fee, multi-use plastic bags.
Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz is trying to fix what his predecessor failed to do. Under the plan, multiuse plastic bags will be distributed to the public for free over several months, after which the use of throwaway plastic bags will be ended.
According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, more than 2.2 million plastic bags are used in Israel every year, more than half of which are distributed by grocery stores and supermarket chains.
The timetable for the switch to multiuse plastic bags has not yet been set, and Ministry of Environmental Protection director general David Leffler is due to draw it up in collaboration with large retail chains. However, during 2014, the ministry wants to distribute to the public an alternative to throwaway plastic bags in the form of multiuse plastic bags. These plastic bags will initially be distributed free, jointly financed by the ministry and retail chains, along with a simultaneous ad campaign, but later, will again cost money. The distribution of throwaway plastic bags to shoppers will be stopped.
I reuse those throwaway bags all the time, except when they tear while loading or emptying groceries, but I guess that is not good enough to consider them multi-use. I do sometimes feel pangs of guilt when using so many bags for my groceries and pining for the days of the good old brown paper bag... People will not be happy about having to pay for bags...

I hope that when the ministry finally gets rid of all these bags, they don't just throw them into some landfill....

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  1. Only 2.2 million? That sounds way off - my family must use at least twenty a week, that comes out to a thousand a year. Two thousand families like mine (roughly the population of RBS, for example) would account for 2 million just by themselves.

  2. What will i peel my veges on?

  3. It seems a bit extreme just to stop the bags altogether. Many countries have been phasing them out gradually by charging for bags or rewarding customers who re-use/ recycle plastic bags. The intention is good, but needs to be more gently applied in order to get people on board with the scheme.

  4. It's about time. I never found out why the original decree was extended from 2012. We also reuse our bags for garbage but I assume that most people do not and just throw them away. My assumption is based on the split second glance into the garbage bin each time before i chuck my stuff into it. Many people are using 'real' garbage bags - the kind that does not break down as the supermarket ones do. :-/

  5. Plastic bags can be recycled just like plastic bottles, glass and aluminum can be recycled. You don't need to do away with them as they are convenient and make carrying groceries not only easier but more sanitary as well. Here in the US we have many supermarkets that will actually give you credit on your grocery bill for returned bags.


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