Today is the International Plastic Bag Free Day. One year ago, the Spanish government passed a Royal Decree in order to reduce the use of plastic bags for shopping. The new legislation requires shopkeepers to charge to customers bags between 15 and 50 microns thick.
Nonetheless, ultra-light plastic bags (less than 15 microns, used to buy fruit and vegetables in bulk) continue free of charge as well as recyclable thicker bags (more than 50 microns) used in clothing stores or other establishments.
From now on, some stores are offering so-called sustainable alternatives, such as paper bags, compostable or biodegradable plastic bags that can still contain plastic particles. The law is still insufficient unless it is modified in order to ban all kind of plastic bags and even other materials such as paper. Otherwise, environmental problems will move to other ecosystems.
The only actual alternative to single-use plastic or paper bags are reusable bags such as cloth bags or other materials. These bags can be used for many years, thus reducing the production of waste.