Italy tosses-out the use of plastic shopping bags

8-track tapes.

Pocket watches.

Slide rulers.

TV antennas.

Plastic bags?

Yep, plastic bags are soon to be as rare as these items of yester-year,

For the last several years, municipalities have been creating bans on plastic shopping bags, forcing consumers to use more environmentally friendly paper or fabric bags. I live in San Francisco, and haven't heard a shop clerk ask "paper of plastic?" in years.

Now comes word of the first nationwide ban on the oil-guzzling, landfill stuffing, ozone depleting carriers.

Starting January 1 it will be illegal for shops and supermarkets across Italy to use non-biodegradable bags.

The law is significant for two reasons, 1). Italy is Europe's biggest consumer of plastic bags, using more than 20 billion annually. 2). The country is the first to invoke a nationwide ban.

"Every year each Italian uses 400 plastic bags, and Italy in total is responsible for 25 percent of all plastic bags that are used and produced in Europe," said Eva Alessi, a spokeswoman for the World Wildlife Fund.

Industry groups fought the ban, and complained that it could create chaos in supermarkets and hurt local plastics manufacturers. Makers of paper and fabric bags (along with Mother Nature) must be celebrating.

Source: AOL News

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