Canadian Packaging

A bag ban for Europe?

By PIC staff   

General Biodegradable plastics environmental regulations European Union plastic bag ban recyclable plastic

EU considering plastic bag ban, taxes

BRUSSELS—The European Commission is looking at several options to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags.

Options could include charging and taxing bags or implementing a EU-wide ban.

It also wants input on how to increase the visibility of biodegradable packaging products and how to boost the biodegradability requirements for packaging under the EU Packaging Directive.

Currently, the Directive doesn’t distinguish between biodegradable products that should biodegrade in natural conditions in the environment, and compostable products that only biodegrade in industrial composting facilities.

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The web-based consultation runs until August 2011.

“We are looking at all the options, including a Europe-wide ban on plastic carrier bags,” said Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment.

The total volume of plastic carrier bags produced in Europe in 2008 was 3.4 million tones.

Some Member States have already taken action to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags through pricing measures, agreements with the retail sector and bans on certain types of bags, but no specific measures exist at the EU level.

Currently, the Directive doesn’t distinguish between biodegradable products that should biodegrade in natural conditions in the environment, and compostable products that only biodegrade in industrial composting facilities.

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