Georgia launches environmental campaign to reduce plastic bag use

  • Plastic bags are often tied to wishing trees as a symbolic gesture. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 3 Apr 2015 - 16:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Plastic bags are all around us. In Georgia, plastic bags are used for virtually any purpose – from carrying groceries and other items to tying on special wishing trees, pictured above.

Despite being convenient, a major downfall of plastic bags is that they are extremely harmful to the environment.

So Georgia is embarking on an ambitious project to reduce the usage of plastic bags in Georgia and replace them with more environment-friendly biodegradable bags.

Georgia’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection has launched an active campaign against heavy usage of plastic bags, which are extremely damaging to the environment and cannot be broken down in landfills.

PSP pharmacy has pledged to support the campaign and has stepped up as the first commercial organisation to replace plastic bags with new biodegradable bags in the pharmacy’s chain stores.

Other major Georgian businesses also supported this initiative and will soon begin to use the eco-friendly bags, said the Ministry.

Plastic bags are used widely at all retail outlets in Georgia. Customers rarely say ‘no’ when offered a plastic bag, as they are a convenient way to carry items. However disposing of plastic bags in landfills causes major environmental impacts, as they do not break down and can last for anywhere between 200 and 1,000 years.

Officials noted excessive use and disposal of plastic bags was the main environmental problem of the country.

The new biodegradable bags are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. Over the coming year they will slowly be introduced into Georgia.