Will we ever stop using plastic bags?

Plastic bag ban: AKK criticizes Schulze's plan

Environment Minister Svenja Schulze wants to ban plastic bags. CDU leader Kramp-Karrenbauer calls for consumers to make the decision.

Want to "get out of this throwaway society": Environment Minister Svenja Schulze Photo: dpa

BERLINrtr | Environment Minister Svenja Schulze announced on Sunday that she would introduce a ban on plastic bags. The SPD politician said that voluntary agreements with retailers have already been able to replace two thirds of plastic bags since 2016. But that is not enough. Schulze's advance, however, meets with resistance. Among other things, with CDU boss Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who demanded on Sunday evening that you first have to go voluntarily.

That no longer seems to be an option for Schulze. She was already in talks with retailers about what further measures were possible, said Schulze and emphasized that she was in favor of "that we get out of this throwaway society and that we have less plastic overall".

The measures discussed with retailers concern, for example, the option for consumers to be able to do without plastic packaging in shops. The EU has decided on very long transition periods here. You have to see what you can achieve faster. The environment minister did not mention a schedule. The EU will ban certain single-use plastic products from 2021. Bans are controversial in trade and companies.

CDU leader Kramp-Karrenbauer is also skeptical. The Union wants to start with “voluntariness and insight” and “only talk about bans if that doesn't work,” she said. In the retail trade, one is currently experiencing that the pricing of plastic bags and the partially canceled range of bags have already had a positive effect. "We should continue to support that."

Schulze said it was also important that the international Basel Convention had achieved that contaminated plastic waste could no longer be exported. "The garbage that is produced here has to be recycled here as well." It is important that plastic can be traded as a raw material. After China, other Asian countries had announced in the past few months that they would no longer accept plastic waste from Europe or the USA.