Higher mandatory fees on plastic bags offered by grocery stores and other merchants in Norway have led to a marked decline in their sales. That’s also prompted authorities to postpone yet another price hike.
Sales of plastic bags at the cash register took a dive after they suddenly cost at least NOK 4 (aound USD 0.40) as of August 1. Four months later sales are down by 40 percent, reports news bureau NTB, in line with the intention to consume much less plastic.
The REMA 1000 grocery chain sold 15 million fewer plastic bags from August 1 through November, compared to the same four-month period last year. Coop Norge reports a decline of 34 percent, while sales of recycled and reusable non-plastic shopping bags soared 390 percent.
The latest figures indicate consumers have cut consumption by a total of 60 million plastic bags. The goal of the retailers’ environmental fund, where plastic bag profits are directed, is for individual Norwegians to use fewer than 40 plastic bags a year. Last year it amounted to 132, for a total of 722 million plastic bags.