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Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags: Good practices Guide for Local Authorities

Surfrider Foundation Europoe's Guide of Good Practices aims at showcasing those local authorities who

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Surfrider Foundation Europe
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By fragmenting into small pieces, plastic bags contribute to the plastic pollution of our Ocean, release chemical toxics and threaten human health by entering the food chain.

An EU directive, adopted in 2015, requires Member States to reduce their consumption of lightweight plastic bags. For the first time, Member States are given the possibility to ban them. However, some Member States have not yet adopted measures to reduce plastic bags ,while others have transposed the directive at a minimum level.

Surfrider’s Guide of Good Practices wants to promote positive initiatives local authorities have already implemented in this area with great success and to invite key stakeholders to learn from their experience.


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  • In 2007, MODBURY in 2007 was the first in Europe to ban plastic bags
  • ALONISSOS and its Plastic Bag Free Alonissos project involved business, tourists and inhabitants
  • ESPINHO brought jute bags to pack bread back into fashion
  • TIANA in Spain gave out baskets and set a deposit system
  • SAINT DENIS in France recruited a local theatre organisation to create sketches and slams about plastic bags
  • JUDENDORF, EISBACH, GRATKOM, GRATWEIN IN AUSTRIA collected 6 124 bags, a world record
  • SOFIA: an exhibition of Tote Bags designed by local artists was organized there
  • SAN FRANCISCO banned single use plastic bags in 2007
  • ANDERLECHT banned bags in Les Abattoirs market
  • SAINT GILLES recruited Gilles to hand out spare bags for clients who might have forgotten their own bags.

Find more real-life examples in our guide!