Press Release: ZWE welcomes the EU decision to reduce single-use plastic bags


24 Nov 2014

Plastic Bag Free Day 2015

Brussels, 24 November 2014

The EU has taken a historic step with the approval with the first piece of legislation aimed at bringing down the use of single-use plastic bags. The compromise allows member States to choose between a plastic bag reduction target of 90 bags per person per year by 2019 and then 40 bags per person per year by 2025; ban the handing out of plastic carrier bags for free by 2018; and ban plastic carrier bags at national level altogether.

However the final agreement allows oxo-degradable bags to continue to be used in Europe despite the abundant evidence that oxo-degradable plastics do not biodegrade according to European biodegradability standards[i].

ZWE’s Executive Director, Joan Marc Simon, said: “The compromise to reduce single-use plastic bags is a step forward and should be welcomed. It is entirely coherent with the direction taken by the EU with the adoption of the Circular Economy package which we hope we will continue to see unfolding with the new European Commission.”

“However with the decision not to ban oxo-degradable plastic bags the EU has missed an opportunity to advance towards zero waste. Oxo-degradable plastics pollute both the technical and the biological cycles and as such have no place in a Circular Economy.”

Joan Marc Simon – Zero Waste Europe
[email protected]
+34 646408963

[i]Benefits And Challenges Of Bio-And Oxo-Degradable Plastics, Deconinck, S. and De Wilde, B. – Final report 2013