European member states prefer bags
that do not harm the environment
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have enacted Directive (EU) 2015/720 of 29 April 2015, which amends Directive 94/62/EC as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags.
The aim of this new legislation is to reduce plastic waste in our environment. Littering of plastic carrier bags leads to a widespread problem of rubbish in water bodies, threatening aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Furthermore, littering of plastic carrier bags is an inefficient use of resources.
In order to promote a sustained reduction in the average consumption level of lightweight plastic carrier bags, EU member states may take measures such as pricing, the use of taxes and fees or restrictions on placing such bags in the market.
However, it is mandatory for all EU member states to include at least one of the following:
a) The adoption of measures ensuring that the annual consumption level does not exceed 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by 31 December 2019 and 40 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by 31 December 2025, or equivalent targets set in weight. Very lightweight plastic carrier bags may be excluded from national consumption objectives.
b) The adoption of instruments ensuring that, by 31 December 2018, lightweight plastic carrier bags are not provided free of charge at the point of sale of goods or products, unless equally effective instruments are implemented. Very lightweight plastic carrier bags may be excluded from those measures.