Environment: Strasbourg votes to reduce plastic bag use

Member states will have to use fewer than 90 per capita by 2019

28 April, 15:45

    Strasbourg votes to reduce plastic bag use Strasbourg votes to reduce plastic bag use

    (ANSAmed) - STRASBOURG - The European Parliament has granted broad approval to a directive calling on EU Member States to reduce the use of thin, highly polluting plastic carrier bags.
    The bags end up in water sources and the ecosystem, leading to serious environmental problems. Member States will now have to sharply reduce the use of thin (less than 0.05 mm) single-use carrier bags by the end of 2019 to fewer than 90 bags per capita. This number will then have to drop to 40 by the end of 2025. As an alternative, EU countries will have to ensure that consumers pay for using the thin bags by 2018. The new regulation was one of the priorities of the Italian six-monthly EU presidency, during which an agreement was reached with the European Commission and European Parliament in November. Its approval may lead to a closing of the infraction procedure against Italy opened by the EU over the ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags introduced in 2011.
    After the final vote by the European Parliament, the directive now only requires approval from the EU Council to enter into force, 20 days after its publication in the official gazette. This will most likely occur by this summer. At that point, Member States will have 18 months to comply with the EU legislation through incorporating it into their national laws.

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