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Spain phasing out plastic bags
By Jerry Brownstein
Since 1 July, 2018, all shops in Spain are obligated to charge customers if they ask for plastic bags. The stores are free to set the price they wish, although the government recommends between five to 15 cents depending upon size, thickness and composition of the bag. Very lightweight bags are recommended to be sold at the least expensive price, because they break down more quickly and are cheaper to recycle. Carrier bags can only be given out free of charge if they are completely necessary for hygiene reasons - such as the small plastic bags for fish or for loose products sold by weight. All others have to paid for with the exception of those that are made from a minimum of 70% recycled plastic. These restrictions will gradually become tighter, and by 1 January, 2021, all bags – even the very lightest ones – must be made entirely from biodegradable or recycled materials.