Latest News on European Union Bag Ban
European Union Offers Custom Options to Reduce Disposable Plastic Bags
In a highly followed and much anticipated move the European Union released the details of a plan that would give member countries the power to tax or even ban single use plastic bags. Several member countries, like Denmark, Germany and Italy have measures in place and this new initiative would make it easier for member countries without such laws to reduce or completely eliminate the consumption of disposable plastic bags without negatively impacting trade with fellow member countries.
Difficult Situation for European Union
The new measure has received a lot of criticism – pretty much from all sides. There were arguments before the announcement that member countries should implement their own laws and the EU should not interfere on this issue, as well as concerns that if member countries did in fact implement their own laws it would cause problems with trade between member countries.
There is also a growing sentiment that the EU’s measure is too soft as it does not do enough to reduce disposable plastic bag waste. Basically the EU cannot win. The beauty of a customized plan is that each country can implement whatever method works best for them. If a country wants to ban disposable plastic bags they can go for it, and if another member country wants to issue a fee they can do that.
Faced with wide ranging criticism the European Union was going to be called out for whatever plan they put forward, and while this plan is not overly aggressive, it still has the ability to reduce trash which is ultimately the goal.
Europe is About to Become A Lot More Green
A ban is the most surefire method for eliminating disposable plastic bags, but a fee certainly helps to reduce the use of thin and environmentally harmful plastic bags. The Republic of Ireland blazed a trail when they implemented a fee on single use plastic bags in 2002. Since that time a number of countries have followed suit and the fee system has been so successful at reducing disposable plastic bag use that very few shoppers use single use plastic bags in countries that levy fees.
This new measure has the potential to drastically reduce the use of disposable plastic bags throughout European Union countries, help consumers use reusable shopping bags, and we couldn’t be happier. We hope the EU and this measure serve as an example for others to seriously consider what they can do to reduce their consumption of disposable plastic bags.