Bioplastics manufacturers in Europe have said the EU decision to cut the use of conventional single use plastic carrier bags will help reduce landfill.
On 22 November, the European institutions adopted a legislative proposal amending the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, meaning member states will have the options of:
- a plastic bag reduction target of 90 bags per person per year by 2019 and then 40 bags per person per year by 2025
- a levy on plastic carriers by 2018
- an outright ban on plastic carrier bags
François de Bie, chair of European Bioplastics, said the move effectively backs existing national legislation in Italy, France, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales where action was already being undertaken.
“These countries are pioneers in putting the decisive ecological advantages of such bags to good use. This means enhancing the separate collection of biowaste and thereby diverting it from landfill.”
European Bioplastics is the European association whose members produce, refine and distribute plastics that are either biobased, biodegradable, or both.
de Bie said the absence of a ban on oxo-degradable plastics was a mixed opportunity but he thought it could follow a future report from the Commission to the European Parliament and Council, examining the impact of the use of oxo-degradable bags on the environment.
“The report will clearly show that oxo-degradable plastics are not biodegradable and hence do not qualify as an ecological solution,” he said.