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Let’s Bag It !

Greens/EFA conference on plastic bags



Single-use plastic bags not only stand as the worst example of our current unsustainable throw-away society and many politicians' deliberate refusal to put a price on pollution. But single-use plastic bags also contribute to the wasting of valuable resources, most notably in incinerators across Europe, at a time when our industry struggles with rising costs for resources. Two years ago, when the Commission consulted European citizens on their views regarding plastic carrier bags, a huge majority voiced their strong concern and required measures to be taken at EU level. Every year more than 8bn plastic bags end up as litter across our continent. Unfortunately, the long-awaited proposal published by the Commission in November 2013 does not seriously seek to reverse the negative tendency. The failure to set out clear targets for reducing lightweight plastic bags will undermine the prospect of ensuring a reduction across the EU. The conference will give all stakeholders the possibility to air their concerns with regards to the future role of plastic bags in our society. It will focus on the benefits of addressing current shortcomings on plastic bags in EU legislation and draw on initiatives as well as current legislation in Member States. Participants include NGOs, representatives from the business community, national and European legislators and regulators.


Arrival of panelists, participants and public 09:30
Introduction by MEP Nikos CHRYSOGELOS, member of the Environment Committee 09:40
First panel: Identifying the problem: Plastic litter in the environment and oceans Chair of panel: MEP Sandrine BELIER, member of the Environment Committee Introducing keynote: Achim STEINER, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (video message) Speakers:
  1. Professor Richard THOMPSON, School of Marine Science and Engineering
  2. Karl FOERSTER, Executive Director of Plastics Europe
  3. Antidia CITORES, NGO Surfrider Europe
Question and answers from public 11:15    
Second panel: Responding with solutions: Best ways to address issue of plastic bags Chair: Rapporteur MEP Margrete AUKEN, member of the Environement Committee Introducing keynote: Karl FALKENBERG, Director General for Environement, European Commission
  1. Piotr BARCZAK, European Environmental Bureau
  2. Ton EMANS, President of Plastic Recyclers Europe
  3. Catia BASTIOLI, CEO, Novamont
Question and answers from public 12:50
Conclusion by Rapporteur MEP Margrete AUKEN 13:00
Walking lunch

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