A law to curb plastic bag use in the EU has been approved by Euro-MPs in a key vote this evening in the European Parliament Committee in Strasbourg.
The new targets will require EU countries to reduce annual plastic bag use to 90 bags per person by 2019 and 40 bags per person by 2025, almost five times lower than the EU average in 2010.
Alternatively, EU governments may choose to introduce a mandatory charge for plastic bags before 2018, a measure which has led to a similar level of reduction in the past.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said:
"Plastic bags blight our countryside and oceans and kill thousands of marine animals each year.
"The Lib Dems in government are already set to curb plastic bag use by introducing a 5p charge next year. It makes sense for the rest of Europe to follow suit."