Knesset plenary passes bill eliminating free plastic bags in first reading

The Knesset plenary approved in a first reading on Monday night a bill that aims to prohibit the free distribution of plastic grocery bags and provide consumers with reusable options.
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz presented the bill to the Knesset, pledging to "fight the phenomenon that has become a symbol of wastefulness and exacted severe environmental costs." After disagreeing on the bill for some time, Peretz and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett compromised on the price for plastic bag sales at 30 agorot in September, allowing the legislation to move forward.
The bill was approved late Monday night with 39 members voting in favor and four abstaining, and will now be advanced to the Knesset House Committee for a second and third reading.
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