Dutch shopkeepers are handing out far fewer plastic bags since a fee was introduced at the beginning of last year, junior environment minister Sharon Dijksma said on Tuesday.
In total, the use of plastic bags by the retail sector has plunged 71%, the minister said.
Some 60% of bakers, butchers and market customers still pay for a bag, but only 40% of department store clients do so. Many retailers have also made the switch to paper bags, the ministry research shows.
Research into the composition of litter also shows a 40% drop in the number of plastic bags left lying around. ‘Not only are fewer bags being produced, but the ban has led to a tangible drop in the amount of plastic rubbish on the street and in water,’ Dijksma said.