After years of campaigning from green activists to stop grocers and large supermarkets alike from wrapping fresh produce in plastic packaging, the Spanish government is now finally devising legislation that will ban the use of this unnecessary waste by 2023.
The move is part of a decree currently being drafted by the country’s Ministry for Ecological Transition and will include measures to encourage the purchase of loose, unpackaged produce, and the use of reusable bottles for water.
The ban on fruit and vegetable wrapping will apply to produce weighing under 1.5kg, and mirrors similar legislation from France, where it will go into effect next year, reports El País. The ban is intended to “fight the overuse of packaging in the most effective way,” said a ministry spokesperson, adding that plastic pollution “has exceeded all limits.”
In addition to slashing fresh produce wrapping, the decree also intends to compel authorities at every level of government to “encourage the installation of drinking fountains in public spaces” while “introducing alternatives to the sale of bottled drinks,” as well as rolling back “the distribution of single-use drinking cups” at public events, beginning in 2023.
Among the primary goals of the new legislation is to slash the sale of plastic bottles for drinks by 50 percent by 2030 and ensure that 100 percent of packaging on the market is recyclable. Spain follows in the footsteps of other governments that have recently stepped up their efforts to close the tap on plastic pollution, including the UK, Chile, and India.