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 1 comment Comments 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.