The Icelandic Parliament passed a bill yesterday banning single-use plastic bags, Fréttablaðið reports. As of July 1, stores will not be allowed to provide plastic carrier bags free of charge to customers. A total ban on single-use plastic bags will take effect on January 1, 2021.
The ban extends to plastic produce bags available free of charge in grocery store produce sections. Stores can, however, continue to sell plastic sandwich bags and garbage bags on their shelves. The ban will not apply to carrier bags made of other materials.
Icelandic grocery stores have been adopting single-use bags made of materials other than plastic in recent months. “We are very happy about these changes and they are in line with our emphases,” says Gréta María Grétarsdóttir, CEO of grocery chain Krónan. The bill was passed with 43 votes and 7 abstentions and is part of an 18-step government action plan to reduce the use of plastic.