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Posted Thu Dec 30 2010: from Reuters:
Italy To Ban Plastic Shopping Bags
Italy, one of the top users of plastic shopping bags in Europe, is banning them starting January 1, with retailers warning of chaos and many stores braced for the switch. Italian critics say polyethylene bags use too much oil to produce, take too long to break down, clog drains and easily spread to become eye sores and environmental hazards. Italians use about 20 billion bags a year -- more than 330 per person -- or about one-fifth of the total used in Europe, according to Italian environmentalist lobby Legambiente. Starting on Saturday, retailers are banned from providing shoppers polyethylene bags. They can use bags made of such material as biodegradable plastic, cloth or paper.
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