Plastic Bag Proposal a 'Step in the Right Direction'
Estonian environmental activists say the European Commission's plans to reduce the use of thin plastic bags is on the right path, but politicians say a tax may be too complicated and other approaches should also be considered.
If approved, the proposals would give EU countries the option of banning or taxing thin plastic bags at grocery stores, reported ERR radio. Similar measures have already been successfully implemented by some EU countries such as Ireland and Denmark.
"Maybe in Estonia we don't really notice this because garbage collection is managed for us and the plastic bags are not yet that visible in the landscape. But in the world's seas there are trash islands, largely made up of plastic bags, that are larger than natural islands," said Estonian Nature Fund head Silvia Lotman.
Measures for reducing the use of plastic bags have been proposed in Estonia previously, but have failed.
MP Jaanus Tamkivi, a former environment minister, said there might be more efficient alternatives to a tax, such as switching to paper bags, which are considered less damaging to the environment.