Yediot Achronot reports that the Ministry of Environmental Protection has begun promoting a plan to end the use of plastic bags at stores and retail chains.
Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz is trying to fix what his predecessor failed to do. Under the plan, multiuse plastic bags will be distributed to the public for free over several months, after which the use of throwaway plastic bags will be ended.
According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, more than 2.2 million plastic bags are used in Israel every year, more than half of which are distributed by grocery stores and supermarket chains.
The timetable for the switch to multiuse plastic bags has not yet been set, and Ministry of Environmental Protection director general David Leffler is due to draw it up in collaboration with large retail chains. However, during 2014, the ministry wants to distribute to the public an alternative to throwaway plastic bags in the form of multiuse plastic bags. These plastic bags will initially be distributed free, jointly financed by the ministry and retail chains, along with a simultaneous ad campaign, but later, will again cost money. The distribution of throwaway plastic bags to shoppers will be stopped.