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Turkey passes regulation to cut down on plastic bag usage

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Turkey on Monday introduced a new regulation preventing shops from giving out free plastic bags with merchandise purchased.

The draft bill was submitted to parliament on Nov. 13.

According to the regulation, shopkeepers must sell plastic bags for at least a quarter lira.

It also foresees a fine for shopkeepers who give free plastic bags to their customers.

The average usage of plastic bags in Turkey is around 440 per person annually, according to Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum.

In European countries the average is between 15 and 25 per person.

Turks use 30 to 35 billion plastic bags each year, which end up mostly in seawater, causing major pollution in the country, the Xinhua news agency reported.

While environmentalists applauded the regulation, some Turkish citizens on social media protested it.

They say the aim of the regulation is to make shopkeepers rich.P

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