GR | EN
30/11/2011

Subject_Revision of Directive 94/62 EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste and a ban on plastic carrier bags


In March 2011, the EU Environment Council discussed the environmental impact of plastic carrier bags, indicating that effective EU action is needed. In May 2011, the European Commission launched a public consultation asking the public how best to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags. Questions included whether charging fees and taxation would be effective, or whether other options such as an EU‑level ban on plastic carrier bags would be more appropriate. Public opinions were also sought on how to increase the visibility of biodegradable packaging products and to raise the biodegradability criteria for packaging. According to the data published by the Commission, a total of 15 538 responses were received, 96.9 % of them provided by citizens. More than 78 % of respondents supported the adoption of measures at EU level to reduce the use of carrier plastic bags. More than 71 % supported the establishment of EU waste prevention targets for plastic carrier bags. More than 70 % agreed that an EU ban on plastic carrier bags is needed. The extraordinary number of responses by citizens, and their large support for measures at EU level, indicate the need for urgent measures to drastically decrease the use of plastic bags.

Given the extraordinary number of responses by citizens, and their large support for measures at EU level to drastically decrease the use of plastic bags, can the Commission clarify the following points?

1. When will the Commission propose a swift revision of Directive 94/62 EC to include a ban of single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags?

2. Will the revision of Directive 94/62/EC include specific waste prevention targets for single-use, non-biodegradable plastic bags?

3. Will the Commission also propose legislative measures to further promote production and use of biodegradable and compostable packaging complying with CEN standard EN 13432?

4. Will the Commission act against Member States which fail to specify the procedure that industry should follow to ensure that packaging is placed on the market only if it complies with the essential requirements of Directive 94/62/EC?

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