Ban on plastic carrier bags
Based on European agreements like the Circular Economy Package and the Plastics Strategy, Member States are to take various efforts to reduce plastic waste and their spread in the Environment.
As early as in 2016 a voluntary agreement with selected trade companies was adopted, providing that carrier bags (not only those made of plastics) should be offered only for money as one of several efforts to achieve significant reduction. The initiative has been successful, but is not considered sufficient for Austria as a whole. Therefore, the Austrian government aims at an overall ban of plastic carrier bags with but few small exceptions - for example for carrier bags that are completely biodegradable and produced from renewable raw materials. Such a ban is to be adopted at the beginning of 2020. Accompanying measures are to prevent consumers from switching to other types of packaging, always taking into account hygiene requirements, especially for fresh food. It is planned to provide for a - rather short - transitional period for plastic carrier bags stored in businesses.
Other EU Member States and non-EU countries, too, already adopted bans on plastic carrier bags. With the planned ban on plastic carrier bags Austria joins the group of countries leading in the fight against plastic waste.