Serbs perceive the ideology of environmentalism best when their wallets suffer a blow. Only one month since retail outlets of a major food chain have stopped providing free plastic bags, their use has decreased by as much as 60 percent, the Vecernje novosti daily newspaper reports.
They say that overall turnover did not suffer due to such decision. Numerous owners of small shops are already selling plastic bags to their consumers for RSD2. Furthermore, all major merchants are announcing that plastic bags in their markets will become a thing of the past.
Data shows that around EUR20 million is spent annually for purchase of plastic bags in Serbia. As much as 40 percent of those bags end up in trash, and their influence on the environment is devastating. Merchants pay RSD1 for each plastic bag. Drugstores were the first to start charging plastic bags. In the beginning they only charged big bags, while small were free of charge. Nowadays they do not have free packaging. As for major retail chains, only Delhaize has started charging plastic bags, in its Shop&Go stores, for RSD2 per bag.
Merkator S, which encompasses Idea, Roda and Merkator hypermarkets, is also considering decrease in use of plastic bags, which is the environmental protection directive of the EU.
Plastic will most likely be removed from Univereksport retail outlets as well but officials of this company are preparing a special model that consumers, they claim, will like.
Source: Većernje novosti