Whilst some supermarkets in Belgium start charging the customers for the plastic bags it is sad to see that in public markets in my Brussels neighbourhood, where the freshest food can be found, the plastic is still everywhere and for free.
It felt strange to see how a normal young hippy-happy family with three children who were queuing before me in one of these market grocery shops, left the market with more than 20 plastic bags. The family left the market carrying 4 or 5 plastic bags each of them, almost empty…
It is a paradox that in the public markets, where the freshest food can be found especially in summer, plastic bags are a lot more present than in supermarkets, the main representative of mass-consumption.
The democratic instruments such as regulation on bans or taxes on plastic bags can be better implemented in big supermarkets than in public markets. Yet if we want pubic markets to keep its share as providers of season food, supporting producers living in the city surroundings and hence support self-sufficiency and avoid all the pollution of importing the fruits from the other side of the world an effort needs to be made to educate consumers in public markets to bring their shopping carts or cloth bags instead of opting to ask for a plastic bag.