(05 November 2013) – Yesterday the European Commission adopted a proposal that requires Member States to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags.
Member States can choose the measures they find most appropriate, including charges, national reduction targets or a ban under certain conditions.
Lightweight plastic bags are often used only once, but can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, often as harmful microscopic particles that are known to be dangerous to marine life in particular.
The high reduction rates achieved in some EU Member States, through the introduction of charges and other measures, show that results can be achieved through effective action. Annual use per capita of lightweight plastic carrier bags range between an estimated 4 bags in Denmark and Finland and 466 bags in Poland, Portugal and Slovakia.