Skip to content
Press Release on International bag-free day: EU Council of Ministers must clamp down on use of plastic bags

Press release on International Bagless Day: The EU Council of Ministers must ban the use of plastic bags

Brussels, July 3, 2014-Joint press release

According to the Union of Environment and Waste Prevention Organizations, on the International Day without Plastic Bags, EU ministers must support a proposal by the European Parliament that places restrictions on disposable plastic bags that damage the environment [1].

It is estimated that every European uses an average of 500 plastic bags per year [2], of which 92.5% are disposable plastic bags. In 2010, the European Union used approximately 90 billion disposable plastic bags, of which disposable plastic bags accounted for 73% of the waste collected on the coast of Tuscany [3]. These petroleum-based products may contain toxic additives, such as endocrine disruptors and carcinogens, which migrate into the marine environment and enter the food chain through marine animals.

Plastic bags account for about 40% of all marine debris in British waters and the North Sea [4], and more than 90% of the waste found on the seabed in the Bay of Biscay is plastic [5].

In April, the European Parliament put forward a proposal to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic handbags in the entire EU by 80% by 2019. Measures include fees, bans, awareness-raising campaigns, and restrictions on the use of hazardous substances and oxidative degradation products within the EU . Plastic bags. In order for this proposal to become EU law, the Council of Ministers must now approve it. In this regard, 92% of respondents in Eurobarometer’s new survey agreed that measures should be taken to reduce the use of single-use plastic items, such as shopping bags [6].

Joan-Marc Simon from Zero Waste Europe said: “Plastic pollution is a global problem waiting to be solved globally. As an international participant, the EU should lead by example and should not lag behind other countries in reducing the use of single-use plastic bags. The Committee. And the Parliament put forward a realistic and necessary proposal, and we call on the Council of Ministers to support and improve it.”

Antidia Citores from the European Surfers Foundation said: "Disposable plastic bags only last a few minutes, but they can be kept in our oceans for centuries. In 2011, more than 70% of EU consulting respondents supported a ban on their use. Disposable plastic bags. In 2013, more than 22,500 European citizens signed our petition asking the EU to ban the use of disposable plastic bags. Member states now have a unique opportunity to help address one of the most representative sources of marine debris. The ocean can't wait any longer."

Piotr Barczak of the European Environment Agency said: "Our reliance on single-use packaging is meaningless. Plastic bags are one of the easiest waste streams to dispose of, and the council can now take action to end this unsustainable, throw-away practice. This practice has become the norm in our society."

Ariadna Rodrigo from Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Disposable plastic bags are an example of our mismanagement of European resources. We are not keeping materials in our economy for as long as possible, but for short-term The product extracts more resources. The European Parliament supports action to eliminate this situation, and now the Council needs to take action."

Marta Beltran of Fundació Prevenció de Residus said: “Our society cannot afford the waste of resources and the environmental, social and economic impacts of plastic bags and marine debris. Vigorously reducing the consumption of plastic bags is essential for achieving resource-saving Europe and eliminating marine debris. necessary."

The Fifth International Day without Plastic Bags allows groups from all over the world to organize events to raise awareness of the environmental impact of disposable plastic bags and require the government to take action to stop marine litter.

International Plastic Bag Free Day is organized by Zero Waste Europe, GAIA and Fundació Catalana per a la Prevenció de Residus i Consum.


[1] Zero Waste Europe, GAIA, European Environment Agency, Surfers Foundation, Friends of the Earth Europe and Waste Prevention Foundation. [2] European Commission Press Release: The Commission seeks opinions on reducing the use of plastic bags. [3] Green Paper on the European Environmental Plastic Waste Strategy. [4] The data are taken from the International Bottom Trawl Survey and CEFAS's Clean Ocean Environment Monitoring Program. [5] OSPAR, 2009 [6] European Commission press release, June 30, 2014*** Your contact information Joan-Marc Simon, Executive Director of Zero Waste Europe, +34 646 40 89 63 Piotr Barczak, Waste Policy Officer, European Environment Agency,, +32 (0) 2289 10 97

Antidia Citores, Legal and Lobbying Coordinator, European Surfers Foundation,, +33 6 32 68 90 36

Ariadna Rodrigo, Resource Utilization Activist, Friends of the Earth Europe,, +32 2893 10 34 Marta Beltran, Waste Movement Coordinator, Fundació Prevenció de Residus i Consum,, +34 676 488 720 For more information about International Plastic Bag Free Day, please visit:


On average, every European uses about 500 plastic bags each year, 92.5% of which are disposable.

About the latest post

Let Europe only export what we are proud of-31/05/2018 Stop the human chain of Gipuzkoa incinerators-30/05/2016 Organic waste management training by Romanian civil society and local experts-23/12 /2015

Previous article Reuse the network