27.12.2021 – 08:30
Deutsche Umwelthilfe eV
- From January 1, 2022, environmentally harmful “shopping plastic bags”, ie single-use plastic bags with a wall thickness of 15 to 50 micrometers, will be banned in Germany
- DUH welcomes the ban in principle, but calls on Environment Minister Lemke to end the billions of times more plastic bags are used for fruit and vegetables
- Reusable alternatives strengthen their backs: Consumers should not switch to paper bags, but rather reusable bags and nets
For years, the German Environmental Aid (DUH) fought for a ban on dispensable and short-lived disposable plastic bags – it will finally come into force on January 1, 2022. The DUH sees this as an important step towards the protection of resources and the environment. The ban includes single-use plastic bags with a wall thickness of 15 to 50 micrometers – including so-called “bioplastic bags”, which are not an environmentally friendly alternative to other plastic bags.
However, thin, one-way plastic bags for packing fruit and vegetables, so-called shirt or knot bags with a wall thickness of less than 15 micrometers, are excluded from the ban. A fatal mistake, according to the DUH, which therefore demands that Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke extend the ban to these environmentally and climate-damaging products. These plastic bags are usually offered free of charge in supermarkets. Around 3.2 billion pieces are used in Germany every year. Only a ban and the consistent promotion of alternative reusable nets and bags will ensure that the goal of waste avoidance formulated by the federal government itself is achieved.
“Disposable bags represent a senseless waste of resources and environmental pollution like hardly any other product. Germany has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to avoiding single-use plastic bags. Masses of unnecessary plastic waste were taken too long. The world is showing the way: 61 countries have already abolished the environmentally harmful one-way plastic bags. We must consistently continue on this path and also prevent the billions of times the consumption of small-sized plastic bags for serviceable goods through a ban. Fruit and vegetables that fit in small plastic bags can also be stored in reusable bags and nets without any problems. Environment Minister Lemke must now act on the goals announced in the coalition agreement to avoid waste and promote reusable use and expand the prohibition regulation“says the deputy DUH federal manager Barbara Metz.
There are already practical, reusable reusable nets for fruit, vegetables and baked goods. Such nets are made of organic cotton or plastic. They are extremely robust, can be reused a hundred times and save having to re-manufacture a single-use bag every time they are reused. Some supermarkets have meanwhile integrated the weight of reusable nets into the checkout system and automatically deduct it when weighing.
The DUH also advises consumers not to switch to disposable paper bags: “In contrast to plastic bags, those made of paper are biodegradable and therefore have a great advantage. But their production also uses a lot of water, energy and chemicals. Consumers should therefore generally keep their hands off single-use bags – regardless of the material used – and should consistently use reusable bags“, recommends the DUH division manager for circular economy Thomas Fischer.
Background information on plastic and paper bags and reusable alternatives: https://www.duh.de/themen/recycling/plastik/plastiktueten/
Barbara Metz, Deputy Federal Manager
0170 7686923, [email protected]
Thomas Fischer, Head of Circular Economy
030 2400867-43, 0151 18256692, [email protected]
030 2400867-20, [email protected]
Original content by: Deutsche Umwelthilfe eV, transmitted by news aktuell