Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023

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Spain to ban plastic packaging for food and vegetables from 2023
A woman picks fruit and vegetables at a supermarket in Zaragoza in northeastern Spain on August 10, 2020. - Spain has added 19,405 new coronavirus cases in the past week, but the health ministry says the country is not entering a second wave of the pandemic. (Photo by CESAR MANSO / AFP)

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.


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.

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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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