Since 31 December 2018, providing plastic bags free of charge where products and goods are sold has been forbidden.
A nationwide campaign kicks off 4 November, during which checks will be carried out to ensure establishments are charging for plastic bags.
The campaign is part of Luxembourg’s broader effort to reduce the use of single-use plastics and package waste more broadly. Since 31 December 2018, the law has forbidden the provision of plastic bags free of charge where products and goods are sold. At the request of the environmental administration, customs and excise authorities will be carrying out the checks. Retailers found not complying with the rules are subject to a fine of €500 or €1,000, depending on the size of the establishment.
According to government figures, household plastic waste increased by 5.6% in four years in the grand duchy. Since the introduction of the “eco-sac” in 2016, however, the country estimates having reduced useage by some 500m plastic bags. By 2021, single-use plastic items--including “products made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags or packaging and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene”--will be entirely banned in the EU.
However, in a bid to onboard businesses before this enforced date, a number of initiatives have taken place this year including, for example, “Null Offall Lëtzebuerg” as well as IMS Luxembourg’s pledge encouraging companies to commit to zero single-use plastic by 2020.