In most European countries, each time you go to a super or a mini market, if you want to buy products but you don't have your own bag, you should take a plastic bag from the supermarket which of course you have to pay for as an extra in your expenses. For many years in many supermarkets of Greece, the plastic bag was Free Of Charge for the consumers, something that changed with the New Year`s coming, because the consumers are obliged to pay 0,04 cents for each plastic bag they want.

Let's see what will happen from this year and after, with Greece and some things about the history of plastic bags around the world.

What changed from the first day of January 2018 in Greece?

Till the last days of the previous year, in each super or mini market of Greece, the plastic bag in each shopping mode (either clothes either foods etc) was free for the customers.

Τhe only market which had as a primary rule, the no free plastic bags, was the famous German origin supermarket chain LIDL in Europe. But even in Africa, most places charge for plastic bags

How much money to pay for a plastic bag?

However, the situation changed with the coming of the New Year, 2018. According to the new law about the charge of plastic bags, from 01-01-2018 the consumers should pay 0,04 cents for each bag and from 01-01-2019 they should pay 0,09 cents. Essentially, it means that the annual cost for a consumer will range from 10 to 14 euro for 2018 and from 24 to 31 euro for 2019.

Where can the consumers take a free plastic bag?

Plastic bags with a thickness up 50 mm will be charged at 0,04 for each one. Bags with a thickness of between 50 to 70 mm will be free for the consumers.

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In addition, the bags with a thickness of less than 15 mm, will be charged only if they are used for reasons of hygiene. Free of charge will be considered for bags thar are available from the flea market.

What do other countries charge for plastic bags?

In some countries, the plastic bags were never free of charge. Especially, in Italy from 2011 the plastic bags were banned and they charge for a plastic bag at 0,10 cents. Together with Greece but with a different cost, Poland has no more free plastic bags, as the consumers have to pay 0,30 cents for each plastic bag, if they desire them of course. Finally, Spain and Bulgaria have approximately the same cost of a plastic bag with Greece, which ranges to around 0,05 cents.

To sum up, Greek people are invited to harmonize with the European framework and to get adapted to new consumer habits. Lets see if they will manage to get used to it or not.