From the mid-2023, sellers and packaging distributors will be prohibited from giving away lightweight and very lightweight plastic shopping bags free of charge at the points of sale of goods or products. The only exception will be made for fresh meat and fish and their products.
The amendments voted by the Parliament, aim to reduce the use of plastic bags and their negative impact on the environment. Every year, 5 trillion plastic bags are produced worldwide, and each of them can take more than 1,000 years to decompose. Almost 513 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, including plastic bag waste. According to the European Commission, plastic bags are among the ten most discarded items in Europe.