BRUSSELS – The European Parliament has approved rules to clamp down on the use of flimsy plastic bags that are hazardous for the environment, removing the last major hurdle to pass the legislation.
In future, consumers will have to use sturdier, re-usable bags or pay extra if they want to use the polluting versions that are often handed out at supermarket counters or pharmacies.
The 28 member nations have already approved the measure once and their final backing should be confirmed later this year.
Member states are required to reduce the use of such plastic bags by some 80 percent by 2025, but are given a choice on how to achieve that target.
Five years ago, every EU citizen used an average of some 180 lightweight bags per year.