Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra announced that he would be formulating a bill to ban the thin plastic bags that are distributed in stores, such as supermarkets. Following a public discussion on the issue last week, he said he would consult with all of the relevant professional and legislative parties to come up with the specific parameters. He said he would push for them to be replaced by baskets, multiple use bags or plastic bags which were less harmful to the environment. According to a Technion study, two billion bags are used each year and represent a significant environmental threat. The public has become much more aware of that threat according to a recent survey by the ministry. Eighty percent recognize the threat and 40% believe it is serious.