No more free shopping bags

A large majority of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) want to decrease the consumption of shopping bags and increase re-use. In the future, shops will be required to request payment for shopping bags and thin plastic bags will be prohibited completely.

Published 23. January 2020

Target groups:

Thin plastic bags for your pizza will soon be a thing of the past, and it will cost you at least DKK 4 if you would like to buy a shopping bag from a shop.

Today, the Danish government and a broad majority of the Danish Parliament (the Folketing) passed an amendment of the Environmental Protection Act that prohibits shops from offering free shopping bags and completely bans the use of thin plastic bags that cannot be reused.

- There must be something to gain from breaking bad habits and instead choosing to reuse shopping bags. We generate more household waste than any other European country and this needs to change. I am pleased that a broad majority of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) supports prohibiting the use of free shopping bags, says Lea Wermelin, Minister for the Environment.

Payment will be required for all types of shopping bags, including the thicker shopping bags used in e.g. clothing shops. Furthermore thin plastic bags that typically cannot be used more than one or two times, will be completely banned.

The Minister for the Environment also intends to fix a minimum price of DKK 4 for shopping bags. This means that the prohibition on free shopping bags cannot be circumvented by only requiring a symbolic fee.

- We have to increase the rate of the green transition and plastic is one of the biggest pollutants. We must reuse and recycle our plastic to a much higher degree than we do today. The prohibition against free shopping bags is good for both the climate and the environment, and is an important step in breaking away from our throw-away society,” says Lea Wermelin.

The complete ban on thin plastic bags will apply to all types of thin plastic bags, both with and without handles. However, the very thin plastic bags used for fruit and vegetables will still be legal in order to avoid food waste and for the purpose of food hygiene.

The new regulations will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

 

Further information:

Jakob Sejr Teichert, Head of press, Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, tel.: 61391726, e-mail: jakst@mfvm.dk