On November 4, 2013 the European Commission (EC) adopted a proposal requiring Member states to reduce the use of light weight plastic bags, but leaving the reduction target and choice of instrument up to the Member states. Possible tools include charges, national reduction targets or the ban of light weight plastic bags. With the proposal the EC responds to increasing environmental concerns over the 8 billion plastic bags ending up as litter in Europe annually, as stated in a press release also published November 4, 2013. Because the use of plastic carrier bags varies largely among Member states the EC has refrained from setting a uniform reduction target. The proposal amends the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive EC 62/94 and was adopted after a public consultation had established wide support for such a measure.

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European Commission (November 4, 2013). “Environment: Commission proposes to reduce the use of plastic bags.

European Commission (November 4, 2013). “Proposal to reduce plastic bag consumption.”