Victim of its own success

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

"Have you got any bags?" This is often the question asked last minute when we go shopping. It's been almost 15 years now since reusable bags made their entrance in Luxembourg's supermarkets. Paying for your shopping bag is now widely accepted. But is this also the case for reusing them? Not so sure.

They are right there at the end of supermarket checkouts. There are those who have brought their eco-bags with them, and there are those who are careless. Those who always have the good excuse of having left their bags at home or in their car. So they ask for one or two at the checkout, after all it doesn't increase the bill. Until the 1990s, consumers didn't question this, supermarkets provided free single-use bags: once the purchases were unpacked at home, the bags were piled up and often used as garbage bags.

In the meantime, the war against single-use plastic has been launched. In 2002, Bangladesh was the first country in the world to ban plastic bags. In Europe, it was Denmark that launched the battle against plastic bags in 1994 with a tax that helped reduce their use. “Disposable bags break and blow around in the environment”, says Dr Elorri Igos, an environmental researcher at LIST.

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Victim of its own success

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