Statement on plastic bags
New measures to require EU countries to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags have been announced by the European Commission.
In a statement on 4 November 2013, Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said it would now be formally set out in law that countries will be allowed to bring in charges for their use.
He said that the use of plastic carrier bags was “a symbol of our throw away society”, and said he hoped the Co timberland mmission proposal would “change attitudes towards consumption and waste in general”.
In 2010, an estimated 98.6bn plastic carrier bags were placed on the EU market, which amounts to every EU citizen using 198 plastic carrier bags per year.
Mr Potocnik said the new proposals which amends the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive timberland would only apply to “lightweight” carrier bags, as these are less likely to be reused or recycled.
He noted that there was vast differences between the amount of plastic carriers bags used across the EU, ranging between just 4 plastic bags per person each year in Denmark and Finland to 466 bags in Poland, Portugal and Slovakia.
“Some Member States have already achieved great results in terms of reducing their use of plastic bags. If others followed suit we could reduce today overall consumption in the European Union by as much as 80%,” he concluded.
The amendments to the directive will now be sent to the Council and the Parliament for consideration and amendment.
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