BERLIN -- Germany's environment minister says she wants to ban certain light plastic bags from retail stores in an effort to cut down on long-lived waste.
Svenja Schulze said Friday that the measure is intended to discourage a "throw-away mentality in which things are used for only a few minutes" but which pollute the environment for many decades.
Schulze said her proposed bill, which needs to be approved by parliament, would also ban plastic bags labeled as being biodegradable but which she labeled a "sham."
The European Union, of which Germany is a member, has already taken steps to cut down on disposable plastics such as single-use cutlery.
The new measure in Germany won't initially ban thin plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, or durable bags that can be re-used numerous times.