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MEPs back ambitious targets to slash plastic carrier bag use




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Plastic-bags-recyclingOn 16 April, MEPs voted for measures to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags, including a binding target to cut use by 80% and mandatory charges for bags.

Other measures in the proposals include a mandatory charge for plastic carrier bags in the food sector, and increasing the use of biodegradable plastic bags over conventional bags.

Conservative MEPs, however, opposed some of the proposals, tabling amendments to weaken the legislation.

Linda McAvan MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on the environment, said: "Labour MEPs today supported ambitious measures to crack down on plastic bag waste across Europe. Single-use plastic bags are only used for a few seconds, yet it takes hundreds of years for them to degrade, and many end up floating in our oceans and seas, poisoning wildlife.

"Only binding targets will do the job - we are delighted Tory plans to water these down were not accepted.

"We also voted to introduce a Europe-wide charge for single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and other food shops, bringing the rest of the EU in line with what the UK has already legislated to do.

"Wales sets a particularly good example for other countries: three years after bringing in a 5p charge for plastic bags at the check-out, the Welsh use fewer plastic bags than most other countries, and they have already met the 80% reduction target we voted for today."


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