Photo by cuttlefish
That bastion of eco-mindedness and left-wing environmentally-friendly thinking, er, Italy, has taken a step that Edinburgh has refused to do.
Plastic bags have been banned in the whole country.
Taking a walk along the Water of Leith yesterday, it's clear from the accumulated rubbish along the shores that there's a real need to get rid of these monstrosities from our high streets. One-use polythene bags are a menace to wildlife, are made from oil and take thousands of years to biodegrade.
Unfortunately, Edinburgh Council has in the past refused to contemplate a ban.
Councillor Alison Johnstone intends to put a new motion in front of the Council next month in an attempt to ban these bags throughout the Capital.
She has the backing of BanPlasticBagsEdinburgh, who also have a Facebook site here.
Now that Italy has banned the bags, maybe she can dangle the carrot of going on a fact-finding mission in front of her fellow Councillors, to see if they respond.
Of course, she wouldn't have to take them to Italy, just to Leith. Greener Leith has been running a successful scheme whereby people get discounts in local shops if they're carrying one of their branded renewable bags.
That scheme could easily be made city-wide.
And think of the publicity of thousands of tourists going home with "I Love Edinburgh" bags holding their tartan dollies, rather than those blue-and-white-striped poly bags which rip on contact with a human hand.