Paper or Cloth? Italy Bans Plastic Bags
Country uses 20 billion a year
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 31, 2010 12:55 PM CST
A man holds his plastic bag near packs of pasta as consumer group activists stage a one-day pasta strike in Rome, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Italians use some 20 billion plastic bags yearly—or 300 per person. But that ends tomorrow: the country is banning the non-biodegradable bags in shops, the BBC reports. It’s “a key step forward in the fight against pollution and it makes us all more responsible in terms of recycling,” says the country’s environmental chief.

“Italy in total is responsible for 25% of all plastic bags that are used and produced in Europe,” says a rep for the World Wildlife Fund. The plastic-killing plan has been introduced in stages since 2006, and the first deadline was postponed amid industry uproar. Click here for more.

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Dec 31, 2010 1:08 PM CST
I always ask for paper even though the grocery stores try to steer me to plastic because they are cheaper.I know paper has it's own issues but at least it either can be recycled or will degrade in a reasonable time frame instead of a thousand years or something.I do not use reusable bags,I knew the germ issue would be a problem and I'm not washing bags,which would consume water,electricity to heat the water and put soap into the water system.