Not enough resources to issue fines for plastic bags in Brussels

Not enough resources to issue fines for plastic bags in Brussels

Plastic bags are still used far too much on the South market in Brussels, but the municipality of Sint-Gilles is trying to find a solution as fast as possible.

The municipality of Saint-Gilles currently does not have enough resources to issue fines for violations of the ban of plastic bags on the South market. Plastic bags have been banned since 1 January 2017, but almost all market vendors continue to use them.

"We were the first to forbid plastic bags on markets in Saint-Gilles," said Jos Raymenants (Groen), responsible for Sustainable Development to Het Nieuwsblad. "We then set up campaigns to raise awareness, and the previous management team was told by the Brussels Region that there would be means to enforce that ban. Those never came, and the team that has to issue the fines now is too small," he added. 

Only about a dozen warnings have been issued so far.

However, Saint-Gilles will not suddenly start issuing fines now. "The vendors on the market and the surrounding area are facing a difficult period with the road works of metro line 3. We will first start a dialogue and work out a step-by-step plan to eliminate the plastic bags. In addition, we also want to collaborate with the Brussels Region," Raymenants said.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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