Proposed Ban on Plastic Carrier Bags by 2021 Skip to content

Proposed Ban on Plastic Carrier Bags by 2021

By Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson

Photo: Plastpoki Innkaupapoki.
A bill proposed in the Icelandic Parliament by Minister of Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson will ban all plastic carrier bags by 2021. If the bill goes through, businesses will not be allowed to give plastic carrier bags to customers for free. By 2021, businesses will not be allowed to hand out any plastic carrier bags, whether for free or for payment.
Businesses will still be allowed to have plastic carrier bags for sale on store shelves, but bags will be banned at checkout points.
The bill plans that individuals should use no more than 90 plastic bags on average per year from the beginning of 2020, and no more than 40 from the beginning of 2026.
The proposed bill goes to further lengths than European Union guidelines on the reduction of plastic bag usage state. The European Union allows states to exempt the thinnest of plastic bags from the ban, which will not be the case in Iceland.

Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and therefore has access to the inner market of the European Union and the so-called four freedoms of the European Union. Being a member of the EEA, Iceland has to follow European Union rules which affect goods, services, capital and persons.

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