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Parliamentary questions
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16 June 2015
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-005348/2015

Italy has not introduced a prohibition on the production and marketing of plastic bags in general but has introduced a prohibition on the marketing of a specific type of plastic carrier bag.

The recently adopted Directive(1) of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 94/62/EC(2) on packaging and packaging waste to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags, introduces the obligation for Member States to take measures to reduce the consumption of these bags. The objective of this directive is to reduce consumption and thereby prevent the generation of waste from these bags, thus helping to address the problem of pollution of the environment, especially the marine environment, and to save resources and move to a circular economy.

This directive requires Member States to implement a predefined maximum national consumption objective and/or to put in place instruments ensuring that lightweight plastic carrier bags are not provided free of charge. The measures adopted my Member States have to be proportionate, non-discriminatory and non-protectionist.

The Commission does currently not envisage proposing a prohibition of production and marketing of lightweight plastic carrier bags.

(1)Approved on 28.4.2015.
(2)Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20.12.1994 on packaging and packaging waste, OJ L 365, 31.12.1994, p. 10‐23.

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