Search Legislation

Directive (EU) 2015/720 of the European Parliament and of the CouncilShow full title

Directive (EU) 2015/720 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 amending Directive 94/62/EC as regards reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags (Text with EEA relevance)

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

 Help about opening options

Opening Options

Close

This is a legislation item that originated from the EU

After exit day there will be three versions of this legislation to consult for different purposes. The legislation.gov.uk version is the version that applies in the UK. The EU Version currently on EUR-lex is the version that currently applies in the EU i.e you may need this if you operate a business in the EU.

The web archive version is the official version of this legislation item as it stood on exit day before being published to legislation.gov.uk and any subsequent UK changes and effects applied. The web archive also captured associated case law and other language formats from EUR-Lex.

Status:

EU Directives are being published on this site to aid cross referencing from UK legislation. After exit day no further amendments will be applied to this version.

Article 1U.K.

Directive 94/62/EC is amended as follows:

(1)

In Article 3, the following points are inserted:

  • “plastic” shall mean a polymer within the meaning of Article 3(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council(1), to which additives or other substances may have been added, and which is capable of functioning as a main structural component of carrier bags;

  • “plastic carrier bags” shall mean carrier bags, with or without handle, made of plastic, which are supplied to consumers at the point of sale of goods or products;

  • “lightweight plastic carrier bags” shall mean plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness below 50 microns;

  • “very lightweight plastic carrier bags” shall mean plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness below 15 microns which are required for hygiene purposes or provided as primary packaging for loose food when this helps to prevent food wastage;

  • “oxo-degradable plastic carrier bags” shall mean plastic carrier bags made of plastic materials that include additives which catalyse the fragmentation of the plastic material into micro-fragments;.

(2)

In Article 4, the following paragraphs are inserted:

1a.Member States shall take measures to achieve a sustained reduction in the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags on their territory.

Those measures may include the use of national reduction targets, maintaining or introducing economic instruments as well as marketing restrictions in derogation from Article 18, provided that these restrictions are proportionate and non-discriminatory.

Such measures may vary depending on the environmental impact of lightweight plastic carrier bags when they are recovered or disposed of, their composting properties, durability or specific intended use.

The measures taken by Member States shall include either or both of the following:

(a)

the adoption of measures ensuring that the annual consumption level does not exceed 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by 31 December 2019 and 40 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by 31 December 2025, or equivalent targets set in weight. Very lightweight plastic carrier bags may be excluded from national consumption objectives;

(b)

the adoption of instruments ensuring that, by 31 December 2018, lightweight plastic carrier bags are not provided free of charge at the point of sale of goods or products, unless equally effective instruments are implemented. Very lightweight plastic carrier bags may be excluded from those measures.

From 27 May 2018 Member States shall report on the annual consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags when providing data on packaging and packaging waste to the Commission in accordance with Article 12.

By 27 May 2016, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the methodology for the calculation of the annual consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags per person and adapting the reporting formats adopted under Article 12(3). That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 21(2).

1b.Without prejudice to Article 15, Member States may take measures such as economic instruments and national reduction targets, as regards any kind of plastic carrier bags, regardless of their wall thickness.

1c.The Commission and the Member States shall, at least during the first year following the 27 November 2016, actively encourage public information and awareness campaigns concerning the adverse environmental impact of the excessive consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags..

(3)

The following Article is inserted:

Article 8aSpecific measures for biodegradable and compostable plastic carrier bags

By 27 May 2017, the Commission shall adopt an implementing act laying down the specifications of labels or marks to ensure Union-wide recognition of biodegradable and compostable plastic carrier bags and to provide consumers with the correct information about the composting properties of such bags. That implementing act shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure referred to in Article 21(2).

18 months after the adoption of that implementing act, at the latest, Member States shall ensure that biodegradable and compostable plastic carrier bags are labelled in accordance with the specifications provided for in that implementing act..

(4)

The following Article is inserted:

Article 20aReporting on plastic carrier bags

1.By 27 November 2021, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, assessing the effectiveness of measures in Article 4(1a) at Union level, in combating littering, changing consumer behaviour and promoting waste prevention. If the assessment shows that the measures adopted are not effective, the Commission shall examine other possible ways to achieve a reduction in the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags, including the setting of realistic and achievable targets at Union level, and present a legislative proposal, if appropriate.

2.By 27 May 2017, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, examining the impact of the use of oxo-degradable plastic carrier bags on the environment and present a legislative proposal, if appropriate.

3.By 27 May 2017, the Commission shall assess the life cycle impacts of different possibilities to reduce the consumption of very lightweight plastic carrier bags, and present a legislative proposal, if appropriate..

(5)

In Article 22(3a), the first subparagraph is replaced by the following:

3a.Provided that the objectives set out in Article 4 and Article 6 are achieved, Member States may transpose the provisions set out in Articles 4(1a) and 7 by means of agreements between the competent authorities and the economic sectors concerned..

(1)

Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC (OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1).’

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As adopted by EU): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was first adopted in the EU. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as adopted version that was used for the EU Official Journal
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different versions taken from EUR-Lex before exit day and during the implementation period as well as any subsequent versions created after the implementation period as a result of changes made by UK legislation.

The dates for the EU versions are taken from the document dates on EUR-Lex and may not always coincide with when the changes came into force for the document.

For any versions created after the implementation period as a result of changes made by UK legislation the date will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. For further information see our guide to revised legislation on Understanding Legislation.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as adopted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources