German shoppers still pack their fruits and vegetables in thin plastic bags, many of which are available free of charge, according to the Federal Environment Ministry.
German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the use of plastic shopper bags has decreased, however thin, light bags for fresh produce remain popular.
‘While the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags fell significantly in the period from 2015 to 2018, by about two-thirds, the consumption of very light plastic carrier bags has remained at a constant level’, the Federal Environment Ministry explained.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Judith Skudelny, the environmental spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group accused environment minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) of having failed with what she described as a “symbolic policy to reduce plastic waste”.
The government’s policy encourages customers to replace usual plastic bags with another kind of plastic bag, she added.
Moreover, the popular thin plastic bags are exempt from a European directive that aims to reduce plastic bag consumption on the continent.
In 2018, more than three billion thin bags were used in Germany, which corresponds an average of 37 plastic bags per consumer, only two less than in 2017. Compared to the years 2015 and 2016, consumption of said bags increased.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jana Zimmermann. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.