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Italy angered as UK blocks ban on plastic bags

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Italy angered as UK blocks ban on plastic bags

Italy angered as UK blocks ban on plastic bags
May 26
09:45 2013

The Italian government has criticised Britain for preventing Brussels from introducing a law banning supermarket plastic bags, according to media reports.

The ban was introduced in 2011 in shops across Italy, with only biodegradable, cloth or paper bags on offer.

Italy will only be able to impose fines on violators when the law is approved by the European Union, and many small shops and markets are still handing out non-biodegradable bags.

However, the Daily Telegraph  reported that the approval was suspended earlier this month when Britain objected, claiming that since the bags are not outlawed by the EU, they cannot be banned by a member state.

“While we are determined to tackle the blight caused by discarded carrier bags, the proposed Italian scheme is illegal under EU packaging laws,” spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told the Daily Telegraph.

Andrea Orlando, Italy’s environment minister, criticised the UK’s stance. Orlando told The Daily Telegraph: “The bags are a serious problem, above all at sea, and it is astounding that Britain, which is serious about the environment and has a seafaring tradition going back centuries, does not want to defend the seas from plastic pollution which suffocates and kills many marine animals.”

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