Bonn Many retailers will begin tomorrow participating in a voluntary initiative to reduce plastic bag use.
Spring time is shopping time. With winter pushing away, people are out looking for lighter and brighter spring and summer fashions. While it has already been common to charge for bags at grocery stores, until now they have mainly been given out free of charge at clothing retailers. This will change tomorrow, April 1 as many retailers have made an agreement to begin charging for the bags.
Uwe Stephan of the Bonn Retail Association says, “Customers have been used to getting a bag nearly everywhere. Therefore, the customer will need to get used to the change.” In the future, each store will be able to decide if they charge or not but retailers are hoping that with this voluntary initiative, they will be spared from legal regulatory action. Their goal is from April on to have at least 60 percent of bags costing something, and in two years they would like to see this increase to 80 percent. Currently, the average person in Germany uses around 70 plastic bags a year.
Kaufhof in Bonn will support the campaign but will not begin until July 1. Small and middle sized bags will cost 10 cents and larger ones will cost 25 cents. At the same time, they will increase the amount of re-usable and paper bags. Retailer C & A will begin charging 20 cents a bag as of April 1. H & M is also preparing to take part in the initiative. Schneiders Obsthof says they normally pack their produce in paper and only give out a plastic bag if someone requests it. They don’t have any plans at this time to charge for those.
Protecting the environment and saving resources are the impetus for the action. Stephan recommends to shoppers, “Just leave re-useable bags in your car or have them in your purse.”
(Orig. text: Gabriele Immenkeppel)