Italian plastics processor association Unionplast has failed in an attempt to have new legislation banning non-biodegradable plastics shopping bags declared illegal.
Unionplast, together with several processing companies, took their case to the country’s highest administrative tribunal, the TAR of Lazio (the region covering Rome). They complained that the legislation, introduced at the beginning of the year, had been introduced “without respite” and was damaging the sector.
The TAR in its ruling late last week said that the legislation had been introduced correctly, and that there had been ample time since outline legislation was passed in 2006 for experimentation on alternatives to non-biodegradable bags.
Unionplast argues that an experimental program set out in the outline legislation required the introduction of a separate decree that was never passed. Unionplast also says that the TAR makes no mention of its complaint that the European Commission was not properly notified in advance of the ban.
Responding to the ruling, Italy’s Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said the ban “had been well received and accepted by the Italian public that has shown a strong environmental awareness and willingness to change its habits to improve the ecological balance of our country.” She added that the government was addressing issues regarding the compatibility of the law with European norms.
Plastics bags in Italy still illegal