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Plastic bags: Last warning for Greece, Italy, Poland and Cyprus

19.06.2017 − 

The EU Commission has set a final deadline for four member states to enact EU rules intended to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Greece, Italy, Poland and Cyprus will be given a deadline of two months in which to transpose the Plastic Bags Directive into their national legislation, the EU body announced last week in Brussels. Should the member states fail to provide a satisfactory response within the allowed period, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Adopted in 2015, the Plastic Bags Directive is intended to dramatically cut the consumption of carrier bags with a wall thickness of less than 50 Micron within the EU. The deadline for transposition expired on 27 November 2016. The Directive obligates member states to take measures which may include instituting charges for these bags and/or introducing national reduction targets that ensure that no more than 90 lightweight carrier bags are consumed per person and year by the end of 2019 and no more than 40 bags by the end of 2025.

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