Europe – The EU Commission has set a final deadline for four member states to enact EU rules intended to reduce consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags.
Greece, Italy, Poland and Cyprus are being given two months in which to transpose the EU Plastic Bags Directive into their national legislation; should they fail to come up with a satisfactory response within that period, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.
Adopted in 2015, the Plastic Bags Directive is intended to engineer a dramatic cut in the consumption of carrier bags with a wall thickness of less than 50 microns.
The directive obliges member states to take measures which may include implementing charges for these bags and/or introducing national reduction targets that ensure no more than 90 lightweight carrier bags are consumed per person per year by the end of 2019 and no more than 40 bags by the end of 2025.
The deadline for transposing the Plastic Bags Directive into national law expired on November 27 last year.