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Plastic bags on their way out PDF Print E-mail
Dec 06, 2010 at 02:27 PM
It seems unlikely in a country which can't even manage a rational system of garbage collection, but you never know. And environmentalists cannot but be happy about today's announcement that Italy is moving ahead with plans to ban the production and distribution of non-biodegradable plastic bags starting January 1, 2011.

"There is no going back", said Environment minister Stefania Prestigiacomo, stressing that the producers and distributors of such bags had had more than enough time to prepare themselves for this change. The ministry is planning a campaign to inform citizens about the ban and about environmentally friendly alternatives  such biodegradable shopping bags and carry-alls  made of natural fabrics or other materials., said Prestigiacomo. Italians use a total of 20 billion plastic bags every year to bring  home their shopping from supermarkets and other retail stores.

Non-biodegradable plastic bags remain in the environment for a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 1,000 years, polluting the air, the sea, rivers and forests.

Although many Italians have had trouble adapting to recycling rules for their own home refuse, their hearts seem to be in the right place. A  recent poll suggested that they are inclined to follow the new directive, with 73% saying they would use alternatives to polluting plastic bags when out shopping.
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