Two Swiss retail giants to scrap free plastic bags

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 24 Oct, 2019 Updated Thu 24 Oct 2019 09:47 CEST
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Two of Switzerland’s biggest retailers announced on Wednesday that they would no longer offer free plastic bags to their customers starting on January 1st, 2020.

With this measure, Migros and Coop are trying to reduce the consumption of single-use disposable bags, which, like other plastic objects, end up polluting the environment.

Plastic bags will remain available, but will no longer be free of charge. At Coop, the proceeds from their sale will be used for the development of environmentally friendly alternatives, such as bags made from recycled materials or cellulose, the company said.


At Migros, “the rapid implementation of this measure will curb the consumption of disposable plastic. Customers retain their freedom of choice, but are encouraged to use plastic bags multiple times”, the chain said. 

Both companies already started charging 5 to 30 cents for plastic bags in their grocery stores in 2016, reducing the use of these bags by about 85 percent.

From January, the measure will be extended to Migros and Coop restaurants, as well as their non-food shops such as clothing, electronics, gardening, and other sectors, which currently don’t charge for bags.

The 2020 prices for plastic bags have not yet been set.

Concern over the polluting effects of plastic bags and efforts to decrease their use have been under way in other European countries as well.

 

 

 

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