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Portugal to ban the use of plastic bags for fruit

The Portuguese Parliament has greenlighted a bill that bans light plastic bags and disposable styrofoam packaging for fruits, vegetables and bread.

The initiative, promoted by the green group Los Verdes and approved unanimously, will prohibit the use by commercial establishments of plastic bags with a thickness of less than 15 micrometers for the sale of fruit, vegetables and bulk bread as of June 2020. Stores will have to resort to more sustainable materials.

The commercial establishments failing to comply with this regulation may be fined, although the amount of the sanctions has yet to be defined by the Government if the initiative is definitely approved.

The regulation urges the Executive to promote awareness campaigns on the use of own non-disposable bags by consumers for their purchases.

"In the European Union, about 58 million tons of plastic are produced annually and Portugal contributes with an average of 31 kilograms per person, which is higher than the European average," says the text of Los Verdes.

The project will be debated and voted on by the Environmental Commission and, if approved, will return to the plenary of Parliament for a final vote.

In the current legislature, Portugal has already implemented several regulations aimed at reducing the use of plastic.

The Portuguese government announced in February that it will anticipate the goals set by the European Union and aims to prohibit the sale of disposable plastic products, such as cutlery, straws, plates or sticks, from the second half of 2020.

In fact, it has already put an end to the use of these products in the Public Administration, and there are several initiatives in Parliament to reduce the impact of this material on the environment, including one that discourages the use of microplastics in cosmetics and hygiene products.

Source: EFE

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