In 2021, every EU resident accounted for an average consumption of 77 lightweight plastic bags (LPCBs), down 11 from 2020.

In total, 2021.34 billion lightweight bags were used in the EU in 2, or 4.8 billion fewer than in 2020.

For the first time in 2021, the consumption of the thinnest plastic bags (those up to 15 microns thick) is decreasing. EU residents used 12.3 billion such bags, up from 14.1 billion in 2018, 14.5 billion in 2019 and 14.9 billion in 2020.

Montenegrin government proposes ban on light plastic bags

Measures to reduce bag consumption are already in place in all EU Member States under the Plastics Directive, which requires no more than 2025 used lightweight plastic bags (LPCBs) per EU inhabitant by the end of 40. However, this objective does not explicitly provide for a reduction of the thinnest (VLPCB).

Among the countries for which data are available, the highest consumption of LPCB is in Lithuania (271 bags per person), Latvia (204) and the Czech Republic (189), in most cases using the thinnest.

At the opposite pole are Belgium (5 bags per person), Portugal (9) and Sweden (16). In Belgium, consumption of the thinnest bags has fallen to one per person per year, in Sweden to two, and Portugal makes no distinction.

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