Israel has recorded a 73% decline in plastic bag usage by consumers in the last six years, Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported.

The report said that large retailers in the country have provided nearly 474 million plastic bags to consumers in 2022, which is 73% less than the number of plastic bags sold by the country’s retailers in 2016.

According to a report by Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, this decline can be attributed to the ‘Plastic Bags Law’ that was enacted in 2016, which was made to minimise the use of disposable carry-on bags across the nation.

In 2021, the volume of plastic bags sold in the country was 501 million, reflecting a 71% drop from 2016.

Before the implementation of this law, large retailers purchased approximately 1.75 billion bags for circulation and distribution in the market, the ministry claimed.

The department also indicated that domestic retailers purchased roughly 5,494 tonnes (t) of plastic bags last year, compared to 9,650t bags in 2016.

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Since its inception, the law has helped in preventing 4,156t worth of bag waste in the country.

Israel’s minister for Environmental Protection Idit Silman said: “The reduction that has occurred in the number of bags purchased by the public and retailers over the past few years indicates that proper legislation and actions to raise awareness among the public are changing consumption habits and helping to make the environment cleaner for all of us.”

JNS’ report added that the legislation also puts a limit on the distribution of single-use plastic carrier bags by individual dealers while also imposing a small levy on their sale.

Since the beginning of 2017, all Israeli retailers are required by law to sell each plastic bag with handles to consumers at a cost of NIS0.10.