Ban on free plastic bags is paying off

Plastic bags being produced. Photo:

Plastic bags being produced. Photo:

The ban on free plastic bags in the Netherlands appears to be paying off with 83% of people saying they now take their own bag to the shops, according to a short survey for the environment ministry.

The survey of just over 1,000 people found 66% ‘never or rarely’ buy a plastic bag and 90% are aware of the ban on free ones.

Some 70% of those polled support the ban, which was introduced at the beginning of this year. Shopkeepers are recommended to charge 25 cents for a bag.

According to website InRetail, Dutch shoppers got through some three billion plastic bags a year before the ban. Bags can still be used if necessary for hygiene, such as products which might leak.