Shirt bag (archive image)
Photo: Marcel Kusch / DPA
Despite all efforts to protect the environment, gigantic amounts of thin plastic fruit and vegetable bags are used in Germany.
As the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" reported, citing the Federal Government's response to an FDP request, supermarket customers used almost 3.65 billion of the so-called shirt bags in 2019.
"This corresponds to a per capita consumption of around 44 very light plastic bags per year," writes the ministry, citing a survey by the Society for Packaging Market Research.
The small carrier bags with a wall thickness of less than 15 micrometers will continue to be found in the fruit and vegetable departments and the meat counters of many supermarkets.
They are given free of charge or in exchange for cents.
Classic plastic shopping bags will be banned from 2022.
Judith Skudelny, environmental policy spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, accused Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) of symbolism.
The massive consumption of shirt bags "is part of the plastic truth that the minister likes to keep quiet," said the FDP politician.
Smarter solutions would have to be found - for example biodegradable bags that could be reused as garbage bags for organic waste after shopping.
ssu / AFP