Vienna. From 2020, all types of plastic bags are to be banned in Austria. This was announced on Wednesday by the right-wing conservative government in Austria. The ban affects all plastic bags with a handle or grip hole. The only exception to the ban are heavy and sturdy bags made of plastic, which can be reused.
After France and Italy, Austria would thus be the third EU country to move towards such a complete ban. Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) guarantees that there are "enough alternatives to the plastic bag". Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the FPÖ also wants to send a signal with the ban: "We are now putting an end to this senseless environmental pollution."
According to the Austrian Ministry of the Environment, approximately 430 million plastic bags are used in Austria each year through the grocery trade alone. Thin plastic bags for fruit and vegetables in particular generate a lot of waste. Many stores in Austria already offer alternatives to single-use plastic bags.
In addition to the ban on the use of plastic bags, a ban on the addition of microplastics to cosmetics and cleaning products is also to be introduced. The Ministry of the Environment spoke of a "great day in environmental policy".
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