Germany bans plastic bags from 2022
The Bundestag has voted in favour of banning plastic bags in Germany from 2022, meaning they will no longer be available in supermarkets and shops across the country.
New legislation will come into effect in January 2022
Plans were made for the legislation in 2019, and have now received support from the majority of political parties in Germany. Only the AfD and the FDP voted against the ban, branding it an unnecessary intervention into the market.
Despite this opposition, the legislation was passed in the Bundestag and the new law will come into effect in early 2022. It is hoped that the ban will aid Germany’s quest for a more sustainable future.
The decision is not without controversy
However, environmental activists have accused the government of only making a symbolic gesture. Several groups have argued that the ban does not go far enough, since not all types of plastic bag will be covered by the new legislation.
The law stipulates that thin plastic bags, such as the ones designed to hold fruit and vegetables in grocery stores, will not be affected by the new ban.
Despite being green, Germany still has problems with plastic
The 2020 Environmental Performance Index ranked Germany as the 10th best country in the world for environmental performance, but the country still produces a troubling amount of plastic waste every year, especially plastic bags.
According to figures from the Federal Environment Ministry, approximately 1,6 billion plastic bags are still used in Germany every year - this equates to more than 19 per person.