Plastic Bags IA example 1.pdf - Biodegradable Bags Cause Outrage in Italy(It\u2019s Not Really About Bags By Elisabetta Povoledo Jan 8 2018 ROME \u2014 The

Plastic Bags IA example 1.pdf - Biodegradable Bags Cause...

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Biodegradable Bags Cause Outrage in Italy. (It’s Not Really About Bags.) By Elisabetta Povoledo Jan. 8, 2018 ROME — The Italian government learned the hard way, early this year, that no good deed goes unpunished. Acting under a 2015 European Union directive addressing the global disaster caused by plastic bags, which take hundreds of years to degrade,Italian lawmakers enacted a measure banning the use of plastic bags for fruit, vegetables and baked goods in favor of eco-friendly biodegradable and compostable alternatives. The government was firm on one point: The new bags could not be given out for free, and the charge of 1 euro cent to 3 euro cents per eco-friendly bag had to appear on the sales bill. Failure to charge consumers would result in a fine for the retailer. But since the law went into effect on Jan. 1, it has been met with a flood of protests in grocery stores and supermarkets throughout Italy, as well as on social media. Italy is hardly the first country to switch to biodegradable and compostable bags from plastic. But with national elections set for March 4, the issue immediately pushed political buttons. Opposition leaders indignantly accused the government of weighing down Italian households with yet another fiscal imposition. And environmental activists criticized its execution. Seeking to appease outraged consumers, the Health Ministry conceded on Thursday that consumers could bring their own biodegradable and compostable bags from home, as long as they had never been previously used. “The reuse of the bags could determine the risk of bacterial contamination,” the director general of the Health Ministry Giuseppe Ruocco told Italian media. That comment did not go over well with Stefano Ciafani, the director general of Legambiente, Italy’s largest environmental association. “You would think that the director general had never been in a supermarket,” Mr. Ciafani retorted. “He suggests that the fruit and vegetable aisle is akin to a sterilized operating room where nothing must be touched. “There’s dirt on those vegetables, that’s a fact.” Legambiente applauded the spirit of the law but gave low marks to the government for execution. “The crazy thing is that the Italian law is very advanced — more advanced than the E.U. directive. But the government handled it all badly,” Mr. Ciafani said. “They allowed a cutting-edge law to become the object of political conflict, but, then, we are in a period of electoral campaign.”
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  • Fall '19
  • European Union, Externality, Italian Government, Gian Luca Galletti, Stefano Ciafani

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