Ban on free plastic bags as from 1 January next year

The Netherlands take concrete measures against plastic soup

Environment Minister Mansveld has informed Dutch parliament free plastic bags will be banned as from 1 January 2016: “Plastic carry bags are our specific focus because of their negative effects on the environment post usage”. The measure is in line with EU policy to reduce the use of plastic bags and forms part of a wider set of measurements.

Mansveld noted that plastic soup has many sources and that it is difficult to quantify the contribution of plastic bags. Therefore she wants to map trash in specific locations this year, not just plastic bags, but also bottles and cans. Many studies that look at the impact of plastic do not include leakage into the environment with the result that plastic is often considered the best option. Mansveld distances herself from this approach “Because of the fact that plastic accumulates in the environment and does not break down it is in my view not a sustainable alternative.”

Maria Westerbos, director of Plastic Soup Foundation: “We applaud the decision to ban free plastic bags wholeheartedly. This measure tackles the plastic pollution problem right at the source”.