European retailers should no longer be allowed to distribute lightweight plastic carrier bags for free. Danish MEP Margrete Auken proposes that a mandatory charge should apply to all single-use bags, including paper bags, provided to customers at the point of sale. The charge should be "effective and proportionate" so as to achieve the desired reduction in consumption, writes Ms Auken.
Ms Auken is the European Parliament's rapporteur on the Commission's proposal for amending the EU Directive on packaging and packaging waste to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. The MEP, a member of the Green Party / EFA group, will present her draft report for a first debate at next week's meeting of the Environment Committee. The report contains 31 amendments to the Commission's original legislative proposal. The Committee vote is expected to take place in March.