thebadPoll: Plastic bags in Catalonia

The results of the last poll were pretty clear (79% in favour of removing crucifixes from state school classrooms), so I thought I’d open another one today.

The ICV-EUIA (Green United Left) section of Catalonia’s tripartite government has decided that it wants to eliminate plastic bags from Catalonia and to support its plan has proposed that a €0.20 charge be levied on each one offered to customers in Catalan shops. Naturally, some shopkeepers and householders will be up in arms over the idea but personally, I’m glad to hear something from ICV-EUIA that I heartily agree with.

My hometown in England is Modbury and Modbury was the first town in Europe to ban plastic bags entirely. All the town’s shops agreed to a 3 month trial a couple of years back and it proved so successful that the ban became permanent. Some shopkeepers were hesitant at first but after they attended a meeting held by Modbury resident Rebecca Hoskins on the environmental impact of these awful things, they agreed to the plan.

I’m proud that Modbury has been at the vanguard of the anti-plastic bag movement and I’ve been considering making a proposition to Cerdanyola del Vallès Ajuntament that they do something similar (though translating policy from a town of under 1,500 people to a town of over 50,000 wouldn’t be easy). What do you think? Is this a fuss about nothing or time the authorities moved to restrict the use of plastic bags? I’ve made the question ‘Catalonia specific’ because that’s where the ICV-EUIA’s proposal would take effect… but feel free to comment with any non-Catalonia opinions or news about similar plans elsewhere!

6 thoughts on “thebadPoll: Plastic bags in Catalonia

  1. Having left Spain a few years ago now…how is the whole environmental issues dealt with? I have obviously been thrust into the environmental world since I started working for Sustrans.

  2. Hi Ed. Environmental issues are dealt with very slowly here (just like most other issues). They’re building huge solar plants in the south and you’ll probably know that there was fierce opposition to the diversion of the river Ebre which was at least partly inspired by environmental concerns.

    But as with the rest of the world, environmental issues take a back seat compared to the economy.

  3. I think it would be a great idea. In Sweden, plastic bags cost anything between 10-15 cents. The bags you get are good quality strong bags and of course, people don’t take more than they need.
    In Spain, plastic bags in the supermarkets are very thin although they were useful to pick up my dog’s mess after using them.

    By the way, very impressed by Modbury – it’s shame more towns and cities in England haven’t done the same. I wonder what the chances are of that ever happening in Spain?

  4. Looking at the poll results, there’s clearly a lot of work to be done convincing people about how bad these things are. I’m pretty surprised by that but it’s useful to know, I suppose.

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