Supermarkets Lidl, Jumbo, Plus and Aldi will stop offering free plastic and paper bags for fruit and vegetables this year. Customers can instead buy bags that can be reused.
This decision is part of the so-called Plastic Pact NL. This is a partnership of supermarkets, the government and companies in the plastics sector that have agreed to reduce the use of plastic. Albert Heijn already banned disposable bags last year.
“The consumer has to get used to it as quickly as possible. That is why it is important that as many supermarket chains as possible participate,” says Carlijn Röell, director of the Plastic Pact NL.
By banning the bags, supermarkets expect to save about 126 million plastic bags and 10 million paper bags per year.
Sell vegetables and fruit separately
State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Heijnen hopes that other supermarkets will also stop using disposable bags. “The less waste we all bring into the chain, the less we ultimately have to process. That’s why I embrace this initiative of Dutch supermarkets.”
Environmental organization Natuur & Milieu says in a response to the ANP news agency that it wants the supermarkets to go one step further. The organization thinks stopping disposable bags is “a nice step”, but points out that supermarkets will continue to sell fruit and vegetables that are pre-packaged in plastic trays and bags.
Fruit and vegetables should be sold separately, says Rik van der Ploeg of Nature & Environment. “That saves a lot of waste and raw materials. You also prevent food waste, because you buy exactly what you need.”
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