Move to ban plastic bags in Hungary gains momentum

In Hungary

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Greenpeace has launched a petition to demand that the Hungarian government ban single-use plastic bags. The environmental NGO is calling for disposable plastic bags to be phased out in Hungary from January 1, 2020, as part of a drive to reduce global plastic pollution, according to a report last week by current affairs news site hvg.hu.

The Greenpeace petition has already been signed by more than 63,000 people. In a press release issued last week, the organization noted that plastic waste is causing vast environmental degradation worldwide, while in Hungary its latest research reveals that the Danube and Tisza rivers are polluted with plastic micro beads.

Greenpeaceʼs latest report, presented last Tuesday, noted the presence of plastic micro-particles in 25-30% of sea life examined along the coasts of Italy, with polyethylene - the basic raw ingredient of disposable plastic bags - found most commonly in samples.

The banning of plastic bags has already been initiated in a number of countries, the hvg.hu report noted. Romania, for example, resolved recently to ban single-use bags from January 1, 2019, while India plans to ban them from 2022. In France, a ban has already been in place for several years, the article stressed.

"These bags are mostly used only once, for just 20 minutes on average, and then end up in the trash," observed Gergely Simon, a chemicals expert at Greenpeace. "It can take as much as nearly 400 years for them to fully degrade."

Simon noted that this is causing enormous environmental problems and an ecological catastrophe in the oceans.

"Since Hungaryʼs waters are also already contaminated with pieces of plastic, now is the time for the Hungarian government to take action on this matter," he concluded.

The Greenpeace petition to ban single-use bags can be signed here.

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