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Belgians use 1 billion plastic bags each year

20:28 13/08/2017

Belgian consumers use more than 1 billion plastic bags every year, or about 98 bags per person, writes Het Nieuwsblad based on research by the green progressive party Groen. The cost of cleaning up the bags as litter in Brussels and Flanders amounts to €61.5 million annually.

Groen's study charted the problem of plastic pollution in Belgium and found that Belgians use 1.1 billion plastic bags per year. This is an improvement on 2004, when the supermarkets introduced a nation-wide ban on disposable plastic bags. Since then, plastic bag use has dropped by 89%.

But more should be done, according to the party. "It is high time for a total ban on plastic bags in our country," said Brussels MP Annemie Maes. The Brussels-Capital Region prohibits plastic bags from 1 September 2017. In Wallonia, the ban is already in place.

Written by Robyn Boyle