On April 16, 2014 the European Parliament adopted amendments to Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste which would force European Member States to reduce the use of single use plastic bags by 80% by 2019, among other measures. An interim goal is to reduce plastic bag use by 50% in 2017. Bags less than 50 µm thick would have to be replaced by recycled paper or biodegradable bags. The amendments were passed at first reading and will be taken up by the new Parliament as a basis for negotiations with Member States after the European parliamentary elections in May 2014.
European Parliament (April 16, 2014). “MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags.”