Portugal is one of the countries that uses the least plastic bags. To move towards an even greater reduction, the 2024 State Budget proposal provides for the creation of a levy on very light plastic bags, usually used for fruit, bread and vegetables, of four cents per bag.
In 2021, each inhabitant of the European Union consumed an average of 77 lightweight plastic bags, which is 11 fewer bags per person compared to 2020. In total, 34.2 billion lightweight plastic bags were used in the EU in 2021, which corresponds to 4.8 billion fewer bags compared to 2020.
The data was released this Tuesday, November 7, by Eurostat , which concludes that 2021 was the first year of decline in the use of ultra-lightweight plastic bags. We’re talking about plastic bags with a thickness of less than 15 microns, which are commonly available as primary packaging for bread, fruit and vegetables in bulk.
Portugal, unlike the rest of the countries analyzed, did not report the differences between the two types of plastic bags – lightweight and ultra-lightweight – but the final figure leaves us in a prominent position: In Portugal, each person used an average of nine plastic bags, only surpassed by Belgium, with an average of five bags per person. At the opposite end of the table is Lithuania, with 271 bags per person.
All EU countries now have consumption reduction measures in place, as required by the plastic bag directive that bag consumption should not exceed 40 bags per person by December 31, 2025. In Portugal, the 2024 State Budget proposal foresees the creation of a levy on very light plastic bags, commonly used for fruit, bread and vegetables, of four cents per bag.
Marta Cerqueira is from Minho and vegetarian. Luckily, she lives in Lisbon, where there is more tofu than sarrabulho. She has been a journalist for over 15 years, the last of which writing about food and sustainability. Now, out of the newsroom, she continues to write whenever she can, be it in magazines, journals, post its, or on her Instagram page, which she uses to share a life divided between being a mom-person-foodie-traveler. Still, she created Peggada so she could write about what doesn't fit in a magazine, journal, post it or Instagram: a better world.
Sustainable Development Goals 🍃
This article promotes an action that encourages the reduction of waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse.