A NUMBER of EU countries gave reportedly blocked an EU proposal that aims to cut the use of plastic carriers bags.
Following strong support from consumers, a target of 80% reduction in use of carrier bags by 2019 was proposed by the European Parliament, which also stipulated a requirement for retailers to charge customers.
It is estimated that the savings to public authorities, manufacturers and retailers could reach as much as 650 million a year.
The bill is now under threat as the UK government, along with a number of other EU State members, have refused to adopt the recommendations as legislation. UK MEPs are also blocking a ban on oxo-degradable plastic, which are harmful to the environment as it is neither recyclable or compostable.
Negotiations to amend the bill are scheduled for the 14th November; failure to reach agreements may see the bill thrown out.
Piotr Barczak, the European Environmental Bureau’s Policy Officer on Waste, said: “This basically amounts to a failure to respect either the environment or public opinion. In spite of strong backing across political groups in the Parliament for the proposal and massive popular support for reductions, the UK and some other countries in the Council persist in showing a complete disregard for the awful environmental consequences of pollution from plastic bags.”
Every European uses an estimated 500 plastic bags a year on average and 92% of these are single-use. The low weight and small size of plastic bags means they often escape waste management and end up in the marine environment, where their eventual decay can take hundreds of years.