A Best practices guide to ban single use plastic bags!

On the following day of the deadline for the transposition of the European Plastic bags directive, we publish a Guide of Good Practices, showcasing those local authorities who lead the way in the fight against single use plastic bags.

The 2016 edition of the European Week for Waste Reduction on the theme of packaging came to an end on 27th November, which was also the deadline for the transposition of the Plastic bags directive into national legislations by EU Member States. The European directive, adopted in April 2015, requires Member States to reduce their consumption of lightweight plastic bags. For the first time, Member States are given the possibility to ban single use plastic bags, an option Italy and France have already opted for.

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Plastic bags have dramatic impacts on the environment and especially on marine ecosystems. They kill every year thousands of marine animals, and affect no less than 260 different species. By fragmenting into small pieces in the ocean, plastic bags contribute to the plastic pollution of our Ocean, increase the transport of invasive species, release chemical toxics into the environment and threaten human health by entering the food chain.

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LIFE CYCLE OF A PLASTIC BAG. From oil to your plate @SurfriderEurope

However, many Member States have not yet adopted measures to reduce plastic bags while others have transposed the European directive at a minimum level. In this context, our Guide of Good Practices wants to promote innovative initiatives some local authorities have already implemented with great success and to invite Member States and other local authorities to learn from their experience.

 “Local authorities are confronted with pollution on a daily basis, they play a key role being at the closest possible level to citizens and shopkeepers. Member States must now listen to their voices and learn from their mobilisation while other local authorities are starting to engage in the fight against single use plastic bags. Our guide is there to help them in this process by providing them with good practices to follow, through 20 case studies in Europe and in the world”. Gaëlle Haut, European Affairs Officer at Surfrider

The movement against single-use plastic bags is more than ever underway. An international coalition against single-use plastic bags was launched recently during COP 22 while more and more players are engaged in the fight in Europe and worldwide.

8 billion plastic bags end up in the environment in Europe every year. Banning single use plastic bags is the only way to reduce significantly and quickly this figure and to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. More than ever, we are active in supporting the Ban the Bag movement.

Happy reading !

Find out more information on our campaign visiting our webpage « Ban the Bag »