Plastic shopping bags get the boot in parliament
Both houses of Swiss parliament have voted to forbid the distribution of plastic shopping bags, and it’s now up to the government to put the ban into action. Advocates say it will set a good example and prevent pollution.
Environment Minister Doris Leuthard said a ban was unnecessary, as the Swiss system of garbage disposal currently works well.
However, those in favour of the new law noted that plastic shopping bags require considerable petroleum and energy to produce. In addition, it takes hundreds of years for a plastic bag to decompose out in the open. And, when plastic is burned, as is most of Switzerland’s garbage, dioxins are released.
For these reasons, the House of Representatives voted 110 to 73 to ban the bags, which are generally used for just 25 minutes on average. The Senate vote was much tighter, with 18 to 17 in favour.
The 3,000 tonnes of shopping bags in Switzerland account for 0.5 per cent of the plastic used annually.
In compliance with the JTI standards
More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative
Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!
If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at email@example.com.