European Bioplastics publishes its latest position paper on shopping bags, ahead of the forthcoming European Commission proposal on single use plastic bags announced today by Commissioner Janez Potočnik. The association recognises that an overall reduction in the consumption of plastic shopping bags will play an important role in increasing resource efficiency and moving Europe towards a more sustainable economy.
Therefore, European Bioplastics supports posing a levy or taxation on oil-based plastic shopping bags, or even a banning of bags under the following condition - firstly, shopping bags containing at least 50 percent biobased content should generally be exempted from the ban or tax. Additionaly, in countries where organic waste is recovered and organically recycled, compostable shopping bags compliant to EN 13432 containing at least 50 percent biobased content should be exempted from the ban or tax.
"Bioplastic bags will become a symbol of a resource efficient and circular economy", says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics.
Plastic shopping bags with a high biobased content ensure a considerably lower carbon footprint than oil-based bags and help to reduce CO2 emissions. Compostable plastic shopping bags offer a secondary use as biowaste bags. They help to increase the amount of biowaste collected and improve the quality of compost in countries where organic waste collection is in place.