Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops
"a key step forward in the fight against pollution and it makes us all more responsible in terms of recycling."
- Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo
A ban on plastic bags is coming into effect in Italy, which has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe.
Italians use 20 billion plastic bags a year - more than 300 per person.
Supporters of the ban say plastic bags are an environmental hazard which use too much oil to produce and can take decades to break down.