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.


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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