Alternative to plastic bags debate debate in Parliament this Thursday – The Economic Journal

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The Green Party (PES) will question the government on Thursday about the need for an alternative to plastic bags at points of sale of bread, fruit and vegetables. The ENP wants commercial establishments to be prevented from making plastic bags available from 2020 onwards and asks the executive to impose fines in the event of misconduct.

"We live in the age of plastic, so the intensity with which this material 'invaded' our lives. Its characteristics, such as versatility, durability, strength, malleability and affordability, have made plastic a material used in large scale for a wide range of purposes (…) [Mas é] of the public knowledge that plastic has become a very serious environmental problem, "reads the bill submitted by the ENP in the Assembly of the Republic, which will be discussed this Thursday in plenary.

The ENP indicates that shopping establishments are still the center of consumption and accumulation of plastic and therefore we must start there. As such, the party wants to make compulsory the "provision to consumers of alternative to the distribution of ultralight plastic bags [de espessura inferior a 15 mícron] and plastic cuvettes at the points of sale of bread, fruit and vegetables. "

The idea is that in June 2020, commercial establishments are prevented from making available ultralight plastic bags for primary packaging or transport of bread, fruit and vegetables, as well as disposable cups containing plastic or expanded polystyrene.

The environmental party says that in the European Union about 58 million tonnes of plastic are produced, "Portugal has an average of 31 kg per person, which is higher than the European average." Ecologists also point out that microplastics have contaminated the seas and killed whales, turtles and seabirds, stressing that "indirect consumption of plastic easily reaches other species and also humans."

"Many fish consumers end up involuntarily and unknowingly because they run the serious risk of ingesting plastic, which has, beyond the general environmental dimension, an impact on human health and the survival of other beings," note the Greens. "This reality is scary and creates a responsibility to act with urgency to prevent the entry of new plastic waste into rivers, estuaries and oceans."



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