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Brussels Environment | Ban on plastic bags in Brussels

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A ban on plastic shopping bags has been introduced in Brussels as of 1 September 2017. Shops and supermarkets will no longer be allowed to pack groceries or other goods into plastic bags in the Brussels-Capital Region, in an effort to encourage the use of more sustainable alternatives. This ban results from a European Directive as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags adopted in 2015. The aim of the ban is to reduce waste and better protect the environment.

As a first step, all disposable plastic bags less than 50 microns thick, intended to carry shop-bought goods (so called checkout bags) are forbidden. The ban applies to all Brussels’ retailers: grocery stores, night shops, general food stores, supermarkets, market stalls, take-away meals, butcher shops, fishmongers, etc. The ban also includes plastic bags handed out by non-food retailers, such as clothing shops. An exception is made for fruit and vegetables, as well as foodstuffs that could leak. However, the ban will be extended and by September 2018 all plastic bags will be forbidden.

Source: (in French)