An island in Denmark is banning the use of plastic bags next year, requiring shoppers to use organic cotton bags instead, it has been reported.
The island of Samsø, in the Kattegat Sea off the Jutland Peninsula, is banning the bags following calls from residents, as the bags account for a large proportion of the island’s refuse, The Local reports.
“We are avoiding plastic carrier bags in the entire trade sector,” project leader of the Samsø Municipality, Gunnar Mikkelsen, told news outlet DR.
Describing the new fabric bags people will be required to use, Mr Mikkelsen said: “It is a bag you can take and keep, but if you forget your bag there will be others available. If you forget a lot and have 10 lying around at home, you can also hand them in at shops.”
Plastic bags will be banned from the island, home to 3,700 inhabitants, by February next year.
The country's Environmental Protection Agency has also initiated an analysis to find out the best bags to use instead of plastic.
Sine Beuse Fauerby, the Danish Society for Nature Conservation’s environmental policy advisor, said the new fabric bags are not the “best option” for the environment, as they are manufactured.
The island is known for its commitment to environmental issues and over the past 10 years has been energy-positive, by producing more biomass and wind energy than it consumes, according to The Guardian.