Today, the 1st of June 2017, Sweden is enforcing new policies on plastic bags. Every retailer is now obligated to inform about the environmental impact of plastic bags, the environmental benefits of not using plastic bags and how the consumer could act in order to prevent and reduce environmental impact from plastic bags. However, there are no rules for how this information should be communicated.
This policy is a result of a EU agreement. In 2015, the EU decided that all Member States should reduce the consumption of plastic carriers. The goal is to create a better environment and to use our resources more effectively. In Sweden, we use over 1.3 billion plastic carriers each year. This means that an average Swedish consumes about 198 bags per person and year. By 2020 the goal is to not consume more than 90 plastic bags per person and year. By 2050 the number should be reduced to only 40. Read more about the agreement HERE.
Some of the Swedish fashion retailers have already taken action. Today, H&M, KappAhl and Lindex launch the concept “One Bag Habit”. The three fast-fashion retailers will now charge for plastic bags and the entire surplus from the sales will go to causes that drive sustainable development within social or environmentally related projects. H&M, KappAhl and Lindex are the initiators, and more retail companies are expected to join onwards. When participating in One Bag Habit, the members undertake to charge for all consumer bags as well as communicate about bags’ negative environmental impact and how consumer bags can be used in a more sustainable way. The companies also commit to offering recyclable consumer bags made from more sustainable materials.
Retailer Indiska also launched an initiative to reduce the use of plastic bags. At ten of their stores consumers can now borrow an organic cotton bag to carry their gods from the store to their homes. The retailer don’t even require you to leave a deposit, they trust that you bring the bag back.