Wednesday, 4. 7. 2018

Take on the challenge – refuse to use plastic items and plastic bags in July

July is the international plastic free day. You are invited to take on the challenge and avoid using plastic products the whole month by replacing them with sustainable ones, that is, those in line with the circular economy principles.

International Plastic Bag Free Day

In July, on the initiative of the Plastic Free July Foundation (#plasticfreejuly), we are marking the plastic free month and the International Plastic Bag Free Day.

The City of Ljubljana is joining the global movement. Our aim is to encourage all citizens not to buy or offer products which are made completely of plastic, contain plastic or are wrapped in it. And again we call upon retailers and hospitality service providers in the city centre to join the campaign against plastic bags.

In the City of Ljubljana we present protocol gifts in multiple use bags. At the General Assembly of the EUROCITIES Network, which we organized in 2017 with circular economy as its main theme, we presented the participants with printed materials in a special bag made out of discarded truck tarps and tent window scraps. The bag was designed by the Smetumet society.

Campaign against plastic bags in Ljubljana

As we are aware of how harmful the use of plastic bags is and what impact it has on the environment, we launched the campaign titled »I’m not lasting, but therefore less annoying. I’m a biodegradable bag.« already in 2016, when Ljubljana was the European Green Capital, calling attention to the overuse of plastic bags, which are harmful for the environment, and promoting the use of biodegradable bags.

photo Erik Skoliber

This year we presented our cooperation with retailers and hospitality service providers in the city centre. We have called upon retailers and hospitality service providers in the city centre to offer only paper or biodegradable shopping bags to their customers instead of plastic bags. Over 44 retailers and hospitality service providers have joined us already, we are presenting them on a prominently featured subpage and they have already received or will soon get a special sticker informing customers that they do not use plastic bags. We are inviting all other retailers and hospitality service providers to cooperate.

Promoting the use of own bags or baskets

Within the scope of three Saturday campaigns we distributed biodegradable bags among vendors at the main market, and we were also giving them out to market visitors at a stand on Pogačar Square. In addition, we explained why plastic bags are such a burden on the environment and encouraged visitors to use biodegradable bags for their shopping and demand them from vendors, that is, to use their own bags or baskets to further reduce the use of different types of packaging.

Survey results indicate the right direction

We are pleased the citizens are aware of the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment, namely, a recent survey has shown that the majority favours abolishing plastic bags and replacing them with environment friendly types of packaging (biodegradable or paper bags, totes, baskets …). As many as 86% of respondents supported the decision to introduce biodegradable bags at Ljubljana’s markets. The survey was conducted by Ninamedia on a sample of 500 people, among them market visitors and people who don’t go to the market.