Binding reduction targets have been set and EU Member States will be able to choose between:
- Take measures to reduce the average annual consumption of plastic bags to 90 light bags per citizen by the end of 2019 and 40 by the end of 2025.
- o ensure that by the end of 2018, lightweight plastic bags are not delivered free to consumers.
In addition, the European Commission must evaluate the impact on the environment of oxo-degradable plastic materials, which are fragmented into small particles, and propose appropriate measures. By 2017, the EC will have to propose the appropriate labeling and marking measures for a community-level recognition of biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.
As a reminder, plastic bags less than 50 microns thick, the vast majority of plastic bags used in the EU, are less reusable than those that are thicker, and quickly become waste.
In 2010 EU citizens used around 198 plastic bags, 90% of which were lightweight.