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Thin plastic bags still popular

In Germany the consumption of plastic carrier bags has declined significantly - that of thin plastic bags has not.

According to the federal government's answer to a request by the FDP parliamentary group, every German consumed a good 37 plastic bags for fruit and vegetables last year, which is more than three billion thin plastic bags. In 2017 it was 39.5, in 2016 36.5 per capita. In contrast, consumption of the thicker plastic carrier bags has declined noticeably in recent years. According to the GVM, Germans still consumed 24 carrier bags per capita in 2018 - five less than in the previous year and 21 less than in 2016. In 2015, consumption was as high as 68 bags. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) suspects that the reason why German consumers use fewer carrier bags, but continue to take thin bags, may be that they have to pay for the thicker bags or that reasons of hygiene may play a role too. Judith Skudelny, environmental spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, however, criticizes the "symbolic policy" of the federal government with regard to plastic bags. The constant consumption of thin plastic bags would point to an evasive behavior among consumers who, instead of paying for bags at the cash register, would resort to thin-walled plastic bags or paper bags. The consumption of paper bags would not even be determined. The Ministry of the Environment rejects the criticism by pointing out that retail chains are already using alternatives to thin plastic bags on a trial basis. The trade must explain to the Federal Ministry for the Environment by autumn how the consumption of plastic packaging can be reduced. This also includes shirt bags.


  • (4.6.2019)
  • FAZ (5.6.2019)
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