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Russian official suggests promoting use of paper bags in chain stores

The move may become "great progress in tackling environmental tasks"

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for Nature Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergei Ivanov has suggested promoting the usage of Russian-made paper bags in chain stores to reduce the harm from plastic bags to the environment, he said during a Russian national meeting dubbed "The main results of work of the Russian forestry in 2017 and its tasks for 2018" on Friday.

"For the first time in history, the Segezha pulp and paper plant has finally started producing paper a bag made of which may sustain several dozens of kilograms. For the first time, we started making domestic paper bags that could be sent to chain stores and offered to the population instead of plastic ones <…> We need to bring [paper bags] to chain stores in some economic way that would compete with plastic gas on equal terms," he said.

This move will become "great progress in tackling environmental tasks," he said, because plastic bags take about 300 years to decompose, and piling them up at landfills is pointless; they should be recycled and reused as secondary raw materials.