MEPs to clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags  

EU countries would be required to reduce the use of the commonest and most polluting plastic bags under draft rules to be put to a vote on Tuesday. Plastic bag pollution of water bodies and aquatic eco-systems is a major environmental problem.

The law would require EU member states to choose between two options: either take measures to ensure that average yearly consumption does not exceed 90 lightweight bags per citizen by 2019 and 40 by 2025, or alternatively, ensure that, by 2018, these bags are not handed to shoppers free of charge.

Note to editors


In 2010 every EU citizen used an estimated 198 plastic carrier bags, some 90% of which were lightweight. In a business-as-usual scenario, consumption of plastic bags is expected to grow further. Estimates also suggest that over eight billion plastic carrier bags became litter in the EU in 2010.


Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), second reading agreement


Debate/vote: Tuesday, 28 April

Press conference: Tuesday, 28 April, 16.00

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