The prices of single-use plastic bags will increase significantly, as the Parliament accepted a regulation on disposable plastic packaging materials because of environmental protection.

The Secretary General of the National Association of Packaging and Material Handling, Miklós Nagy, spoke about the legal tightening regarding the single-use plastic bags so many people use during grocery shopping, and how the prices will be affected, reported

Originally, the regulation would have banned all plastic bags with a thickness of under 50 microns. “Fortunately, we have been able to modify this. Thus, according to the compromise supported by the EU, bags with a wall thickness of fewer than 15 microns will still be allowed to be manufactured and used, but in return, the product fee has been significantly increased,” Miklós Nagy explained.

The price of non-degradable products was increased from 57 forints (approx. €0.16) per kilogram to 1,900 forints (approx. €5.4). At the same time, the bags made of degradable material had no fee before, those will be sold at 500 forints (approx. €1.4) per kilogram from now on.

Nagy believes the customers will pay the increase in prices. If they know they have to pay for the bags while buying fruit and vegetables, they will start to realise they are using a plastic bag, and they will begin to think about how many bags they actually need, which will eventually lead to the decrease of using single-use plastic bags.

“When a survey is conducted, everyone is environmentally conscious; everyone accepts more expensive but so-called environmentally friendly packaging. However, when you actually go into the store, almost everyone chooses the cheapest solution,” Miklós Nagy revealed how environmentally-friendly Hungarians really are. But he also added that manufacturers are the same; when they see the price of an environmentally friendly way, they will go back to the way they did things in the first place.

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1 comment
  1. Ultimately it is down to the supermarkets to do their bit. A number of small, independent grocery stores wisely use paper bags for fruit etc. Paper bags are much better because fruit and things like mushrooms are not ruined by condensation building up in the bag in the way that it does in plastic bags. But all the multinational supermarkets that operate here in Hungary are addicted to plastic bags because it speeds up checkout and takes up less room for storage. Worse still, they don’t offer recycling facilities (unlike in the UK). And while I am having a moan about the dreadful supermarkets here, why don’t they offer cash-back like they do in the UK? Or is that too modern? (Although supermarkets have been doing that for donkeys years elsewhere).

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