End of the single-use ‘nylon?’

New standard for reusable bags awaits gov’t decision.

July 28, 2010 02:49
1 minute read.
plastic bag

plastic bag 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The demise of the single-use plastic carrier bag in stores and supermarkets may be upon us.

Standard 6049, for reusable plastic bags, was recently created by the the Standards Institution of Israel at the request of the Environmental Protection Ministry, the ministry announced on Tuesday.

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If the standard is made compulsory by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, the single-use plastic bags that customers use by the dozens during supermarket visits could be a thing of the past.

“I am sure that the industry, trade, and labor minister [Binyamin Ben-Eliezer of Labor] will recognize the standard as compulsory,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said in a statement. “A compulsory standard will dramatically reduce the use of plastic bags to a minimum and minimize the severe environmental damage caused by the millions of bags in use around the country, in homes and landfills.”

Five billion single-use plastic bags are given out each year in Israel.

According to the new standard, carrier bags will have to have written on them: the manufacturer or importer’s name and address, the size of the bag, the material it is made out of, and the words ‘reusable’ in Hebrew on them.

The standard would only apply to single-use plastic bags that do not come into direct contact with food and are at least 20 cm. wide and 35 cm.

long. For example, plastic sandwich bags would not be affected To test whether a plastic bag adheres to the criteria of multiple use, the standard lays out a test. Ten bags are immersed in a tub filled with tap water for five seconds and then emptied out. They are then filled with a total of 8 kg. of chalk. The bags are then raised by the handles 400 times to a height of one meter at a rate of 20 cm. per second. If no tears or rips appear, then the bags conform to the standard.

The printing on the bags must also pass a test.

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