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WASTE : MEPS CALL FOR MANDATORY CHARGING FOR PLASTIC BAGS.

ENVI tightens up draft directive on plastic bags

Reducing the proliferation of single-use plastic carrier bags is easy and can be accomplished in the short term, say MEPs, who propose targets, a calendar and a range of financial and commercial measures to do so. With its 10 March adoption of a report by Margrete Auken (Greens-EFA, Denmark), the Committee on the Environment (ENVI) tightened the draft directive on plastic carrier bags - COM(2013)761. The report will be put to the vote at the plenary of 14-17 April.

The measures used in certain member states prove that it is easy to reduce consumption of plastic carrier bags if a coherent policy is implemented. "This is a very low-hanging fruit," commented Auken. Her views were endorsed by MEPs, who wish to make it mandatory to charge for such carrier bags in the food sector and recommend doing so in the non-food sector as well.

Plastic bags with a thickness of less than 50 microns, which represent the majority of plastic bags used in the EU, are less reusable and become waste more quickly than other bags. The member states need to reduce their consumption by at least 50% by 2017 and 80% by 2019, say MEPs. States should use measures like taxes, levies, marketing restrictions or bans, all of which are particularly effective. The committee also recommends that shops should not provide plastic bags free of charge, except for very light ones used to wrap loose foods. These bags should also be replaced by 2019 by bags made from recycled paper or biodegradable and compostable bags.

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Publication:Europe Energy
Date:Mar 26, 2014
Words:265
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