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Spanish region wants to charge shoppers for trying on clothes

The regional government of Castilla y Leon has proposed that retailers charge shoppers to use changing rooms to try on clothes.

Spanish region wants to charge shoppers for trying on clothes
Photo: olly18/Depositphotos

The move was announced by the region’s economy and treasure minister at a retail industry conference this week.

María del Pilar del Olmo, a minister for conservative (PP) regional government, said the proposal was needed to stamp out what has become a common practice by thrifty shoppers.

She explained that too many shoppers are using the option, not as a means to “try before they buy”, but rather to find the right item and correct size before then sourcing the outfit online at a cheaper price.

The practice is proving a challenge not for large chain stores such as Zara, which offer online shopping, but for small boutiques whose fashions can also be ordered cheaper from websites such as ASOS.

 “One of the hallmarks of Spain is the existence of physical and often bespoke shops in town and city centres and, of course, frequently in villages, too; and the only way to ensure they survive is by seeking out innovative ideas,” she said at the conference in Madrid on Tuesday.

“This does not necessarily mean shops will definitely start charging for trying on – this is just an example (of what could be done),” she added, suggesting that this was one of many proposals being considered by a working committee on trade in the region.

But the suggestion was met with instant criticism by consumers who according to online polls said they wouldn't pay to try on clothes.

 

SHOPPING

Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023

A ban on the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping in supermarkets will come into effect in 2023, as part of a decree drafted by Spain's Ministry for Ecological Transition.

Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023
A ban on the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic wrapping in supermarkets will come into effect in 2023. Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP

It also includes measures to encourage shoppers to buy loose fruit and vegetables and curb the sale of plastic bottles.

The ban on plastic wrapping for fruit and vegetables will apply to produce weighing under 1.5 kilograms. Meanwhile those “at risk of deteriorating when sold loose” will not be affected, according to Spanish newspaper El País.

The decree aims to incorporate European Union rules into Spain’s legislation, and follows similar legislation in France that will go into effect next year.

READ ALSO: This couple turned a desire for a zero-waste household into a thriving Madrid business

The goal is to “fight the overuse of packaging in the most effective way,” a ministry spokesperson told El País, adding that plastic pollution has “exceeded all limits.”

It will also aim to make 100% of packaging recyclable by 2030, as well as cut the sale of plastic bottles by half.

Rules forcing authorities to “encourage the installation of drinking fountains in public spaces”, “introduce alternatives to the sale of bottled drinks” and reduce “the distribution of single-use drinking cups” at public events, are also being contemplated.

Representatives of green groups welcomed the ban but added that the Spanish government is not moving fast enough to put a stop to plastic pollution.

“We drink plastic, we eat plastic and we breathe plastic,” Julio Barea of Greenpeace, told El País.

According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Spain generations 1.6 million tonnes of waste from plastic packaging every year, and recycles less than half. Two thirds of what goes to landfill is not recycled.

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