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Italy to ban plastic bags in New Year

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posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 11:11 PM
I hate the no-plastic brigade.

The impact of this drive is utterly miniscule. By not using plastic bags, the average family will preserve an amount of fossil fuel equal to a tank of gas over a decade. Yet they'll all be able to feel good about saving the planet, and the governments that put these things in place get re-elected because they're eco-friendly, and the shops that volunteer to get rid of plastic bags (or charge for them) get to call themselves champions of the environment.

Want to make a real difference? Put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat, walk to the store, and buy local produce whenever the option is there, and cut your meat intake by one meal a day. Do that for a month and you'll atone for every plastic bag you'll use from now until 2021.

edit on 31-12-2010 by vox2442 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 02:37 AM
The petroleum consumption is one of the issues.

I would argue that the bigger issue is the impact of plastic on our health and environment.

We all now about the carcinogens in plastic. The other issue is plastic's half life. Growing up, our text books clearly stated that the half life of plastic is 50,000 years. A search today yields convoluted results in what I would argue is an attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Here is a good read. Some obvious bias but well sourced:

Plastic bags are killing us

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:07 AM
reply to post by RedGolem
Yeah we’ve been getting news flashes about this for quite a while now.

It will be interesting to see if it’s really implemented down here in Sicily.

Makes me wonder what everyone will be doing for trash bags??? Right know we re-use shopping sacks.
Guess we’ll have to buy ‘approved’ trash bags. What a rot.

Anyway, as per the grocery sacks? It sounds like a great idea but the thought of going back to paper (tree killers) is so not appealing. I hope that problem is fixed too...


posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:24 AM
Say no to plastic bags

Boasting the highest rates of consumption for plastic bags in Europe—with 20 billion bags used annually— Italy is in for a big lifestyle change

This is not a sudden move since a gradual ban was introduced in 2006. However, over reliance and usage on plastic bags called for more drastic measures. With the option to use biodegradable, cloth or paper bags, the Italians are now looking at a plastic bag less future. ...

... By enforcing a ban on plastic bags, Italy has inadvertently forced its people to become environmentally responsible. The impact of this ban is significant.

Italy is not the first country to have done so. In 2005, Eritrea, Rwanda and Somalia banned plastic bags whereas Tanzania introduced a total ban in 2006. Other countries in Africa, Asia and Europe and some cities in the United States have imposed partial bans or bans on thinner plastic bags, considered more dangerous to the environment. Similarly in the UAE, there are many retailers that encourage the customers to use paper bags or reusable shopping bags

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:37 AM
Plastic Bag Reduction Around The World

Taking action in March 2002, Bangladesh was the first large country to ban all polyethylene bags in the capital, Dhaka, after they were found to have been the main culprit during the 1988 and 1998 floods that submerged two-thirds of the country.

The ban on polythene bags has led to a revival of the jute bag industry and other sustainable and biodegradable alternatives.

In May 2002, Ireland was the first European nation to take action. A 15 euro-cent (25c AUD) levy was placed on plastic supermarket checkout bags. It is estimated that the use of disposable plastic shopping bags has been reduced by approx. 90% since the levy was introduced. Prior to its introduction approx. 1.2 billion disposable plastic bags were given away free by retailers.

This also saw a decrease in excess of 95% in plastic bag litter.

In the first year after the introduction of the 15c levy just under 90 million bags were bought by the public and this fell to less than 85 million in 2003. But since then the number has been on the up again, to 100 million in 2004 and at least 113 million in 2005, a rise of over a third.

The plastic bag levy has increased to 22 cent today in a further bid to reduce littering. The former minister for the environment Dick Roche announced the rise last February which comes after evidence suggested the initial impact of the tax in 2002 was beginning to weaken.

The South African Government banned the use of thin plastic bags in May 2003. Retailers handing out the bags were to face a fine of 100,000 rand ($13,800) or a 10-year jail sentence. The legislation means shoppers will either have to take bags with them when they go shopping, or buy new, thick, stronger plastic bags that are easier and more profitable to recycle.

In 2004, thousands of people in Rwanda were encouraged to take the day off work to help pick up some of the plastic bags which littered the country.

Environment Minister, Drocella Mugorewera said that anyone using plastic bags was breaking a recent law on environmental protection aimed at cleaning up cities. She said that people must use paper bags or baskets instead.

This law cased problems for some market traders due to paper bags being unsuitable to carry some products such as fish and. Paper bags can be up to five times more expensive than plastic ones.

Wangari Mathaai, the 2005 Nobel peace prize winner, linked plastic bag litter to the problem of malaria in Africa. When discarded, the bags can fill with rainwater, offering ideal breeding grounds for the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Zanzibar banned plastic bags in 2006 due to the negative effects of discarded bags on the marine environment and its crucial tourism industry. The government suggested the use of raffia bags as an alternative.

"We have to put the environment above everything," Zanzibar's Director of Environment Ali Juma said. "Besides being an eyesore, plastic bags are very damaging to land and marine life and we are already threatened by the rapid pace of development."

Kenya and Uganda have banned the use of thin plastic bags in an effort to curb environmental damage. The ban will took effect in Kenya at the stroke of midnight on Thursday 14 June, 2007.

In August 2003, the state government banned plastic bags in Himachal Pradesh, in northern India. In this Indian state plastic bags not only caused floods but were were also widely blamed for killing foraging cows. The government banned the manufacture, sale and use of all plastic bags.

Similar laws now also apply in Mumbai, western Indian state of Maharashtra, Sikkim, Goa, Kerala and Karnatak states, where the plastic bag was banned in September 2005.

Manufacturers and stores selling plastic bags are fined or face imprisonment. The ban in these states had been prompted by the indiscriminate use of plastic bags, which blocked sewage and drainage systems during record monsoon rains. As a result, flooding and landslides killed more than 1,000 people in the state.

In many European countries, such as Germany, Denmark and Switzerland, retailers charge for plastic check-out bags of their own accord without any government legislation in place.

A city ordinance passed in March 2007 saw San Francisco become the first State in the USA to ban the use of plastic bags by large grocery stores.

The stores can still use biodegradable plastic bags, typically made from corn byproducts.

The estimated 180 million plastic bags handed out annually in San Francisco cause litter, hurt wildlife and often end up in a massive patch of swirling plastic junk in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that is reportedly twice the size of Texas.

The 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' is a garbage soup of 80% plastic weighing more than 3.5 million tons and has been growing a brisk rate since the 1950s. See a July 2008 Sixty Minutes report on the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' at:

In February 2008, China's State Council put a nationwide ban on plastic bags. The cabinet demanded all stores (from major supermarkets to small shops) go plastic bag-free after June 1, 2008.

According to the Daily Mail, China uses more plastic bags than any other country. It is estimated that 37 million barrels of crude oil are used to produce China's annual supply of plastic bags. China's population of 1.3 billion people use 3 billion, and dispose of 3 million tonnes of plastic bags each year. The nationwide ban was put in place to lift the environmental credentials of the county in time for the Beijing Olympics in August 2008.

The ban prohibits shops, supermarkets, and sales outlets from handing out free plastic bags and bans the production, sale, and use of ultra-thin plastic bags under 0.025 millimeters thick. It took effect nationwide on June 1.

New Zealand
In March 2009 a campaign calling for the introduction of a retailer levy to help reduce the one billion plastic supermarket bags used annually by a population of four million people in New Zealand was launched.

Calls for the levy are in line with the New Zealand Packaging Accord 2004-2009, a five year program to reduce packaging waste. Many retailers are signatories to the Accord, which includes a goal to reduce plastic bag usage by 25% by mid 2009.

Over the last year, levies have been successfully introduced by a number of retailers such as Bunnings, The Warehouse and Borders, the latter reporting an 80% decrease in plastic bag usage within one year of introducing a 10c levy.

Campaigners want the owners of New Zealand's major supermarkets Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises to take the lead in reducing plastic bag use because 700 million plastic bags are given away by supermarkets annually. In April, Foodstuffs announced a levy to become effective in August 2009 in selected stores

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 03:39 AM
Bravo for Italy! I can see a nice market for designer "grocery bags" that could be washable, too.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 05:32 AM

Originally posted by RedGolem
Plastic bags will now be banned in Italy but I think we are going to be seeing more of this in the near future

They won't be banned. They already "banned" them here over a year ago.

Plastic bag "ban" in South Australia

What they will do is "ban" them. Then shoppers will be "saved" by having the option to buy "approved" versions of the same thing. When we go to the shops now, they ask us "would you like a bag with that?". Well, yes, I'd like to be able to carry my groceries to the car!

Just another clever scam to syphon money out of the citizens, while pretending that they care. Nothing more, nothing less.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:49 AM

Originally posted by silo13

Anyway, as per the grocery sacks? It sounds like a great idea but the thought of going back to paper (tree killers) is so not appealing. I hope that problem is fixed too...

I looked up some information on using trees for paper. Just to have a little more information hear it is.

All kinds of paper are made out of 100% wood with nothing else mixed into them. This includes newspaper, magazines and even toilet paper.Most pulp mills use good forest management practices in harvesting trees to ensure that they have a sustainable source of raw materials. One of the major complaints about harvesting wood for pulp mills is that it reduces the biodiversity of the harvested forest. Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16 percent of world pulp production, old growth forests account for 9 percent, and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the rest.[7] Reforestation is practiced in most areas, so trees are a renewable resource. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certifies paper made from trees harvested according to guidelines meant to ensure good forestry practices.[8]

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:52 AM

Originally posted by NuclearPaul

What they will do is "ban" them. Then shoppers will be "saved" by having the option to buy "approved" versions of the same thing. When we go to the shops now, they ask us "would you like a bag with that?". Well, yes, I'd like to be able to carry my groceries to the car!

Just another clever scam to syphon money out of the citizens, while pretending that they care. Nothing more, nothing less.

thanks for posting that, it is important information, star.
That is a good little scam all of us reading this should now be watching out for. If that happens hear I will be investing in more re usable bags, or just keeping some boxes in the car.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 06:49 PM
reply to post by Unity_99

I guess I will have to try a different tack on this one...

The vast majority of consumer generated trash is a container of one type or another. Be it a plastic bag, soda bottle, styrofoam packing, cardboard box, etc. Don't believe me, try it yourself sometime. Separate what was produced to hold the item you purchase versus the rest of the trash you generate. All those items, in addition to a ton of landfill, generate convenience for the consumer.

Most Americans love convenience. It fits well with a general lack of self sufficiency and need for instant gratification. Do I believe self sufficiency and a willingness to work for things makes one "all that"? Not my call. However, after living in DC a while, it is pretty clear to even the most myopic there is a strong correlation between those who could not cut it on their own if their life depended on it and their need for this convenience. Check out a Wal Mart parking lot and observe the waddling going on. Not my opinion but an observable fact.

I agree one can reuse plastic bags but it has been my observation they do not hold up to long tern use like canvas. I have never used hemp bags but my guess they are along the lines of canvas versus paper or plastic. Renewable consumer items are a great idea. Getting the consumer to use them is something else.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 07:31 PM
I think we should really take after Taiwan, when I went to visit, there were recycle bins next to every trash bin, everybody brings their own bags to the market and you're charged like 10cents (in their money) to get some plastic bags.

Everywhere I go in Los Angeles, I see recyclables in the trash can when there are recycle bins nearby. I am so disappointed in the human race. I pick up bottles for recycling whenever I can and I pick them out of the trash and put them into recycling bins. We have to be responsible for the place we live...seriously.
edit on 1-1-2011 by eLPresidente because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:18 PM
Replacing plastic bags with paper bags is great for the environment.

+1 step twords a greener society.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 09:34 PM
reply to post by RedGolem

I'm glad to see it, Ireland did a 10c charge per bag not long ago and drastically reduced the number of bags going to land fills. The state I live in is banning them at most stores this year as well, personally I will be using reusable bags unless its a big trip, then, sorry trees, I'll bag it.

posted on Jan, 1 2011 @ 10:03 PM
I think its a really good thing. Taking a canvas or hemp bag to the shop should become the norm. There is no need for plastic bags at all, or paper. If you are going out to buy something substantial then you should know about it before hand. If it is a one off small item then you should not need a bag at all. I worked in TK Maxx for a while and they introduced charging 2 pence or whatever for a plastic bag. Prior to this you were always supposed to ask, if people needed a bag. I would see men and women with maybe three or four huge carrier bags on their arm plenty of room. They would look at me like I was crazy for asking, say "yes of course I need a bag". I place the item into small carrier bag and they put it into one they've already got with something else in. No doubt they went home took said item out of small useless carrier and put the bag in the bin.

posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 03:00 AM

Originally posted by Rockpuck

I'm glad to see it, Ireland did a 10c charge per bag not long ago and drastically reduced the number of bags going to land fills.

I don't know if everyone will follow the example of Ireland, but I do think something similar will be coming to just about everyone.

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