The planned ban on light plastic carrier bags in Germany has cleared another hurdle. On 6 November, the German government passed a corresponding amendment to the packaging law. The bill has still to be approved by the German parliament.
The ban will affect plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness of less than 50 micrometres and is set to come into force six months after the bill is passed. Ultra-light bags with a wall thickness of less than 15 micrometres - typically used for carrying fruit and vegetables – will be excluded from the ban.
The initiative is part of the German government's efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Germany. Despite a voluntary self-commitment by industry, the annual consumption of plastic carrier bags (with a wall thickness of 15 to 50 micrometres) still amounts to 20 bags per capita.