The EU commission wants to enforce a ban of plastic carrier bags all over Europe as quickly as possible, due to the extensive pollution caused by thrown away plastic carrier bags and the endangering of land and sea animals. However, the EU commission’s environmental arguments don’t apply to German circumstances. Germany disposes of an efficient and powerful disposal system for packaging. Plastic carrier bags made from high quality polyetylene are particularly sought-after for recycling. Collection and recycling quotas are correspondingly high.
“We don’t have a littering problem with carrier bags,“ states Ulf Kelterborn, general director of IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e. V. “The bags neither pollute the environment, nor do they kill animals, like it has been claimed time and again“. Insofar, Ulf Kelterborn sees good chances to take legal steps in case of a Europe-wide ban. In this context, the association has harshly criticized the EU commission’s survey, ending on August 8th. It was not only incompetent in content and misleading, but also has not reached the European consumer, since it has only been available in an English version. Therefore, it was mostly lobbying organizations using the survey portal for their own purposes. Because of all this, the result of the survey cannot be considered to be a reflection of the general opinion of the European consumer.
Often, the consumer pays a fee for a plastic bag at the supermarket till, including the costs for recycling. With a weight of 12 grams on average, and a capacity of up to 15 kilograms, the plastic carrier bag is not only very consumer friendly, but also particularly eonomical on resources. Acceptance within the population is correspondingly high. A ban therefore also would constitute an unjustified dominating of the consumer. The European packaging directive, obliging all member states to adhere to corresponding collection and recycling quotas, is a suitable tool to prevent littering and dealing with raw materials and saving resources.