As of January 1st, Dutch stores are required to charge for plastic bags. Here is an advertisement at the tram stop:
It basically says “You (will now) pay for your own plastic bag” and underneath in small letters “your own bag, better for the environment”.
I think it is a good law change. Marco and I almost always have extra bags with us (I have one at work in my drawer and one permanently stored in my backpack) so there isn’t much effect on us. I did find it funny to go to Action (a “dollar” type store) as the sign said the charge for one bag was 3 cents. We don’t even have pennies in the Netherlands — thankfully! I wish I had taken a picture of that sign.
Most stores have had signs up for a few months now, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.