Supermarkets and other shops will be required to charge customers for plastic bags on Sunday, based on a new executive order by the President’s Cabinet.
The new directive calls for a €0.05 surcharge on every plastic bag given for transporting goods at cash registers, both in supermarkets and other shops such as pharmacies, convenience stores, and specialty stores.
Small nylon bags and bags used to hold produce will not be charged according to the new rules.
The directive, which goes into force July 1, was supposed to begin six months earlier, when January was the deadline set by the European Union.
But some supermarkets and shops showed no signs of complying with the rule, and consumers remained in the dark over the various details of the directive.
Following more focused campaigns, now consumers have been told they will be required to pay for plastic bags to transport their purchases or they can use other types of non-plastic or bio-degradable bags, including special bags that can be bought at the store.
Media reports said volunteers would stand outside supermarkets over the weekend to hand out special bags to consumers free of charge, as a form of encouragement to ditch the plastic bag altogether.