Germany will ban supermarkets from 2022 to distribute plastic bags to customers at the checkout. The German parliament, the Bundestag, agreed to this on Thursday.
Lightweight plastic bags of the type that customers usually pick up at the checkout point should be prohibited after a transitional period that was extended from six months to 12 months at the industry’s request.
Stable reusable bags and thin plastic bags used in the fruit and vegetable sections are excluded from the ban.
“The plastic bag is the embodiment of waste of resources,” said Environment minister Svenja Schulze, who initiated the ban. “Good alternatives are shopping baskets, washable fabric bags for fruit and vegetables and reusable boxes for products from the fresh-section.
For the WWF environmental organisation, the ban is only symbolic. Plastic bags account for only 1% of plastic consumption in Germany.