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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Euro-MPs agree to phase out plastic shopping bags

a thrown away plastic bag and rubbish

USING plastic shopping bags could become a thing of the past after Euro-MPs agreed to Green proposals to end their use, which creates massive amounts of waste and litter – as well as posing a danger to wildlife and spoiling the environment.

MEPs agreed that new rules proposed by the European Commission didn’t go far enough, and called for mandatory targets to reduce bag use by 50% in three years and 80% over five, as well as requiring that shoppers pay for their bags.

London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert said the rules would make a real difference in the capital.

“Parts of London have discarded shopping bags in trees as far as the eye can see – they are unsightly and dirty and present a real threat to wildlife,” she said.

“Any measures to dramatically cut their use are to be welcomed: they’ll massively benefit our environment by significantly reducing plastic waste, and quickly.

“We’ve see, in Ireland, for example, that where plastic shopping bags are taxed, and alternatives provided, their use drops off very quickly, and ambitious targets to reduce them can be achieved: putting a price on single-use bags is a proven and highly effective policy tool for reducing their excessive consumption.”