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Italy Acts To Protect Environment By Banning Plastic Shopping Bags

December 31, 2010: 10:04 PM EST

Italy has joined a growing list of countries that have banned or imposed surcharges on plastic shopping bags by retail shops for environmental reasons. Violation of Italy’s new law carries penalties, but shopkeepers in the country claim they have received no official notices or explanations except through the media. According to an environmental group, each Italian on average uses about 300 plastic bags annually. If each consumer used only ten biodegradable bags a year, 180,000 tons of gasoline would be saved, Legambiente said. Other governments that have imposed bans or surcharges on plastic bags include Mexico, China, Tanzania, India, Ireland, and cities in Australia, South Africa and Taiwan.

Hada Messia, "Italy to ban plastic bags in New Year", CNN, December 31, 2010, © Cable News Network
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