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Issue 06/2015

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Biodegradable
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Packaging
  • Carbon
  • Germany
  • Composting

Films/Flexibles/Bags 75

Films/Flexibles/Bags 75 % brought their own reusable bags, and 25 % took biodegradable bags from the cashier. We assumed that, in the evening, there are more working people shopping after work and in a rush. In the morning, the shoppers were mainly housewives or retired people, who had more time and could plan their shopping tour without having to hurry. So more of them brought their own bags… As mentioned before, with about 45 – 50 counted each time, this was certainly not a representative survey… We then approached a number of customers to pose a few questions directly. Interviewing consumers directly after passing the checkout counter When asked: “Why did you chose biodegradable bags?”, the responses were mostly along the lines of: “Because in Italy you can only buy such bags” – “to reduce pollution” – “because they can be used for biowaste collection”. Only one woman said: “Because I forgot my reusable bag at home”. We then asked about what they intended to do with the bags after use. All of the consumers we talked to responded in a similar vein: “to use it for collecting biowaste (rifiuti umidi)” – “for collecting normal trash”– One person said “I put it into the biowaste collection to give it back to the natural cycle” The next question was whether they would use the bags several times…“Yes – but mostly for collection of waste (normal and bio)” – I’ll use it again for shopping” – “No, because I’m afraid it will tear”. Reusable bags can be bought directly at the checkout counter In our final question, we asked for the consumer’s opinion on the new law. In most cases, this drew a positive response: the majority responded with: “it is good, is OK, it’s the right way to protect our environment.” Conclusions Almost five years after the law came into force, the impact is clear. Compostable shopping bags have found acceptance by supermarkets and consumers alike, although 50% or more of the consumers also use reusable bags which they bring from home. At the end of the day, the target to reduce the number of plastic bags to a maximum of 90 (per capita, per year) by 2019 must still be reached, but it looks as if Italy is well on its way towards achieving this. For the diversion of biowaste from landfill to industrial composting, bags are one of the most important means, as Italians use them to collect and carry the waste. The Italian infrastructure for the collection and treatment of biowaste has improved greatly over the last decade, but it seems that more needs to be done on source separation and quality control in the future. References Also Betty, our cover girl, who we interviewed as well, confirmed that they are using the bags for the collection of biowaste, and that the law is a good approach. [1] “Bye bye shopping bag”, bioplastics MAGAZINE, Vol 6, Issue 01/2011, page 6 [2] Section 1, clause 1130 of the law of 26 of December 2006, n. 296, modified by section 23, clause 21-novies Legislative Decree 1st July 2009, n.78, modified by the law of 3 August 2009, n. 102 (came into force 1st January 2011). [3] “Annual Report of the Italian Composting and Biogas Association 2015” annual_report2015eng.pdf last accessed Oct. 2015 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/15] Vol. 10

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