In six months, no less than 487,000 plastic bags, weighing 12.2 tonnes, were supplied by 80 businesses distributed throughout Wallonia, according to a study made by the Comase bureau commissioned by the outgoing minister of the environment Carlo Di Antonio (cdH) and reported by L’Echo on Friday. More than a third of the bags handed out were considered not to satisfy legal requirements.
The distribution of single-use plastic bags has been forbidden for two years in Wallonia. The study, completed in June, serves as an initial assessment. It was carried out in 80 businesses located in all the region’s provinces. Even if the results cannot be directly extrapolated for the whole of Wallonia, an important lesson can be drawn from them: plastic bags are having a hard time.
Attitudes are nonetheless changing: “Three-quarters of the businesses taking part in the study comply with Wallonian legislation in terms of the provision of plastic bags. The proportion even reaches 80% if carrier bags only are counted. This score at once stems from the turn to reusable plastic bags, but also from the rejection of plastic carrier bags by nearly half of the outlets analysed, particularly by independent, small, or medium-sized businesses,” the study concluded.
Investigators have moreover sought to find out whether all the bags complied with legislation authorising a minimal thickness of 60 micrometres (um). They have to be reusable for a minimum of 20 times, washable and repairable. The percentage of legal bags stands at 71% by number and 75% by weight. In other words, there are 140,000 plastic bags that are not legal and they weigh 3.1 tonnes.