Lightweight plastic bags, it's over!


These are bags that are used for packaging bulk products in stores and in markets.

After the ban on non-reusable bags last year, on the same date, since 1 September, it is now forbidden to use all light plastic bags in the shops and markets of the Brussels Region.

To mark this occasion, Brussels Environment launched a second major awareness campaign, consisting of twenty statues of a reusable bag in the streets of the capital. An e-mail and an information package with explanatory brochures, stickers and posters were sent to all sellers in June. And from the first week of September starts a poster campaign and broadcasts radio spots.

Concretely, all plastic bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns (these are bags used for packaging fruit and vegetables, seeds, accessories, cleaning products, etc.) must be replaced by more sustainable alternatives (paper bags, tissues, pots, etc.). The prohibition applies not only to the shops, regardless of the goods sold, but also to the markets and all forms of street sales, such as flea markets or door-to-door.

In order to facilitate the transition, retailers can offer a biobased and compostable bag for fruit and vegetables and for wet foods such as olives up to 2020 until 2029. This measure is therefore provisional. Only primary packaging of aquatic plants and animals is allowed in very light bags. The idea is to adopt new reflexes with their own reusable packaging.

As a reminder, 800,000 tons of plastic bags for single use are used every year in Europe.

H. G.

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