The decision on April 28 by the European Parliament to introduce legislation to reduce the use of lightweight carrier bags in EU countries has divided opinion amongst plastics trade associations.
The ruling will require EU28 Member States to choose between introducing a charge on single-use lightweight plastic bags by the end of 2018, or, alternatively to adopt measures that ensure the annual consumption level per person does not exceed 90 lightweight plastic carrier by the end of 2019 and 40 by the end of 2025.
In addition, 2017, the European Commission will also have to propose labelling and marking measures for an EU-wide recognition of biodegradable and compostable plastic bags. It is also required to assess the impact of oxo-degradable plastic materials on the environment and draft a report.
Brussels-based EU-level Trade Association, EuPC, said although it welcomed the general aim of the Commission’s proposals to reduce lightweight plastic carrier bag use, it is “disappointed” with the agreed final text. EuPC Managing Director Alexandre Dangis, decribed the directive as “overly prescriptive on Member
States and imposes obligations that will be difficult to monitor.”
European Bioplastics, however, welcomed the decision to introduce the legistlation, stating it “recognises the benefits of compostable bags and paves the way for further development of EU-wide standardisation and labelling of compostability for a resource efficient Europe.”