The Blue Green Blog

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Germany’s environment minister, Svenja Schulze, recently announced that Germany is planning to impose a ban on plastic shopping bags, in an effort to use less plastic and therefore reduce the detrimental effect of plastics’ pollution on the environment. This will happen after there have been sufficient voluntary agreements with retailers to reduce usage.

In 2016, an agreement with German businesses already reduced the use of plastic bags, with many stores charging for them. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment reports a 64% reduction in plastic bag use since 2015.

Similarly, in England, there has been a 90% decrease in plastic bag use in supermarkets since the introduction of a 5p charge per bag in 2015. Plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds are also set to be banned in England from April 2020.

Environment secretary Michael Gove says,“urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment.These items are often used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down, ending up in our seas and oceans and harming precious marine life.So today I am taking action to turn the tide on plastic pollution, and ensure we leave our environment in a better state for future generations.”