Use of plastic bags in supermarkets has declined significantly since the "Bags Law" went into effect at the start of the year, according to a survey commissioned from the Geocartography Institute by the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) Consumer Authority.
According to the survey, 42% of consumers have bought no plastic bags since the law went into effect, and 20% now buy them only rarely. A survey before law took effect found that 90% of consumers took plastic bags from supermarket checkout counters. 38% of them described the number of bags they took as "medium" and 17% described it as "large."
The survey respondents said that they were not deterred from taking bags by the NIS 0.10 charge for each bag. Only 22% attributed reduced use of the bags to the charge. 21% said that the reason was that reusable bags were convenient, and 52% said they used fewer plastic bags for environmental reasons.
At the same time, there is a gap between what people say and what is actually happening. When consumers were asked whether their recycling habits had changed following the Bags Law (recycling bottles, packages, and paper), 86% said either that there had been no change or that they did not recycle at all, while only 12% said that they had begun recycling more, compared with the period before the law took effect.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that enforcement measures would be taken against supermarket chains refusing to accept deposit bottles for payment from consumers before the Passover holidays. The ministry called on consumers encountering refusal by a supermarket chains to accept deposit bottles for payment to report it (by email or telephone), and said that the supermarkets would be fined in accordance with the law. For reasons of Jewish law for kosher food during Passover, the Ministry of Environmental Protection is allowing supermarkets to refuse to accept deposit bottles on April 10-17 (during the Passover holiday).
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on April 6, 2017
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