The European Commission (EC), through a newly launched public consultation, has invited the public to give their view on reducing use of plastic carrier bags, including an outright ban. Also under consideration is a levy/a tax on bags. Opinions will also be sought on increasing visibility of biodegradable packaging products, and boosting the biodegradability requirements for packaging, improving the way a bag is labelled to indicate how it will biodegrade. Public opinion will help the EC complement its scientific analyses, and drive policies on this issue. The web-based consultation is open until August 2011.
Taxes have been introduced and voluntary agreements reached with retail sector to phase out plastic bags, by individual countries. However, no specific measures exist at EU level.