Clothing retailers in Sweden to start charging for plastic bags

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-31 23:42:19|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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STOCKHOLM, May 31 (Xinhua) -- In response to a new EU directive aimed at reducing the use of plastic in the European Union, clothing chains in Sweden will start charging customers for plastic bags on June 1, Swedish television broadcaster SVT reported on Wednesday.

From Friday, anyone who buys apparel from one of the big clothing chains will have to pay for a bag or bring their own.

Lindex, KappAhl, Gina Tricot and H&M are just a few of the brands that will start charging customers for plastic bags.

The profit will be used for initiatives that promote sustainable development, SVT reported.

New EU regulation requires retailers to inform consumers about the effect of plastic bags on the environment and document the number of plastic bags retailers buy. The goal is that Swedes will be accustomed to using no more than 40 plastic bags per person, or 400 million a year by 2025.

Today Swedes use about 1.3 billion bags a year. Clothing chains have chosen to start charging for plastic bags as the new law goes into effect.

Last year, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency said it should cost the customer about 55 U.S. cents for a plastic bag in a store, but it is up to each chain to decide how much they want to charge.

Swedish retailer H&M will charge customers 23 U.S. cents a bag regardless of the size, H&M spokesperson Joanna Morell said.

To completely do away with plastic and only use paper bags is not realistic yet. H&M recommends their customers start bringing their own bags from home.