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Parliamentary questions
20 February 2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-000134/2018

Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWD)(1) has double objectives of environmental protection and proper working of the internal market. Its Article 18 provides that Member States shall not impede the placing on the market of packaging which satisfies the provisions of the directive. Directive (EU) 2015/720(2) amended the PPWD Directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags, allowing to that end measures including marketing restrictions in derogation from Article 18, provided that these are proportionate and non-discriminatory. Member States may exclude very lightweight bags from measures taken; Italy has chosen not to do so. For non-lightweight bags, Member States may use economic instruments and national reduction targets, but the general provisions on packaging, including Article 18 apply.

In June 2017 the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Italy regarding the persistent failure to notify the Commission of their national measures to transpose the PPWD as amended. Italy notified its implementing legislation in September 2017. The Commission is checking this legislation in order to decide on it compatibility with the PPWD as amended.

Charging for very light bags is an efficient means to reduce their consumption and hence encourage reuse. Italy will need to document a sustained reduction. The PPWD does not impose reuse as its approach is to address the placing on the market of plastic bags. Re-use, in line with the established waste hierarchy, is considered as preferable to recycling and other waste treatments.

(1)OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 10.
(2)OJ L 115, 6.5.2015, p. 11.

Last updated: 22 February 2018Legal notice