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Packaging And Design

Lithuanian Shoppers Using 'Five Times Less' Single-Use Plastic Bags

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Lithuanian Shoppers Using 'Five Times Less' Single-Use Plastic Bags

Lithuanian shoppers are using 'five times less' single-use plastic bags when shopping, retailer Iki has said, one week on from the introduction of new legislation charging customers for their use.

On 1 July, new legislation came into effect that bans the use of free single-use plastic bags, except lightweight plastic bags for meat and fish products, with most retailers introducing a charge of 1 cent for said bags.

According to Iki, the additional charge is already starting to lead to changes in customer behaviour, with sales of reusable bags up 40% on average.

'A Cleaner Future'

"The first week alone shows that a small change in the way you shop can turn into a significant push towards a cleaner future," commented Vaida Budrienė, Iki communications manager.

"Our statistics show that during the first seven days of July, the number of ultra-light plastic bags purchased by customers is almost five times lower than the weekly average of bags used last year," Budrienė said.

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Various types of reusable bags for fruit and vegetables and other small products have been available at the retailer for some years now, and demand for these rose between 30% and 43% depending on the type of bag.

"The customers' favourite also became apparent – sales of net bags grew the most," Budrienė added.

Plastic-Bag Usage

The Lithuanian government introduced the new law following studies that indicated that plastic bag usage in the country was the highest in Europe – according to 2020 data, a typical Lithuanian shopper uses 294 bags per year, while the EU average is 87.

Other countries have also taken steps to reduce or limit the use of single-use plastic bags – New Zealand recently became the first country in the world to completely ban single-use plastic bags in retail outlets.

Read More: Top 10 Supermarket Retail Chains In Lithuania

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