Plastic Bag usage

How many lightweight plastic bags do Europeans use every year?

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Map of the per capita waste generation by households in Europe.

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To reduce pollution of plastics and micro-plastics, more and more countries start to encourage or even create legislation to reduce the use of lightweight plastic bags. This map shows us the annual consumption of all lightweight carrier bags made of plastic, that are supplied to customers at the point of sale of goods or products, with a wall thickness of less than 50 microns.

Interestingly, the Baltic and Nordic countries have the highest consumption of lightweight plastic bags. Latvia (284) and Lithuania (332) consume far more plastic bags than any other European country.

The lowest usage can be found in Portugal (8), Belgium (17) and Poland (23). The consumption of lightweight plastic bags has only been documented since 2018. So we can’t look at any trends yet. However, compared to 2018, most European countries reduced their plastic bag usage.

Data for this map comes from Eurostat.

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