Crackdown on plastic bags in Spain
With 300 whales being beached and dying due to plastic bag consumption in Australia alone this year, we are constantly reminded of the devastating impact plastic bags are having on our planet. In July this year the Spanish government passed a royal decree that enforces taxation and charging on all plastic shopping bags, excluding recyclable bags, thicker durable and ultra-lightweight bags; in order to reduce the number of plastic bags ending up in landfills and more importantly, the ocean.
By prohibiting oxo-fragmentable carrier bags Spain is becoming a EU pioneer and from 2020 all bags must have a recyclable plastic content of over 50% or 50 microns. The law raises awareness among Spanish people of the damage these plastic bags are doing to the environment, the importance of recycling and reducing their consumption. This is the first step in ridding plastic bags from our natural environment.
This is just the beginning of a roll-out of new laws against plastic, with lightweight and ultra-lightweight bags also being banned from the end of 2020 with the exception of compostable bags. Compostable bag use however, will depend on the area’s sanitation system, as they will have to coincide with manageable segregated collection in order to be in line with the law.
Spain will see the creation of a supplier registry system for the purpose of reducing the consumption of plastic carrier bags under the new legislation with enforced fines and limits for over-production and mis-management of plastic disposal. The Spanish royal decree follows an EU directive to create a registry for recording and gathering information on plastic bags within the Spanish market.
In other news this week, Australia announced it had cut 80% of plastic bag use in just three months, after two of the largest supermarket chains banned plastic grocery bags altogether. An estimated 1.5 billion bags have been prevented from use, the Australian Associated Press reported, with some retailers reporting reduction rates as high as 90% as customers had to BYO-bag (bring your own) or fork out 15 Australian cents (11 euro cents) to buy a reusable bag.
At Manifesto Design we care about the environment and protecting it for future generations. Coming soon is an article from our director Michel Cruz, on System 001, the world’s first effective system at removing plastic from the harshest marine environments and further reading here of the Ocean Clean-up project.
– Eamonn Shiels –