The European Commission is threatening France with legal action at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over concerns that it has incorrectly defined packaging and packaging waste in its national laws, breaching EU waste legislation, which regulates the disposal of plastic. France's definition could be construed to illegally place some packaging beyond the scope of its waste regulations.
The EU Council of Ministers voted to end imports of petrochemicals, including those used as plastic inputs, from Iran, as part of an oil and gas embargo over concerns that the country is continuing to develop nuclear weapons. Existing import contracts can be fulfilled until 1 July.
Environmental groups Seas At Risk and the European Environmental Bureau have called for an EU-wide plastic bag ban, following an EU public consultation on the issue last year sparking political pressure for controls.
Although no decision has been taken on the way forward, and no new action is likely to be proposed in the forthcoming green paper, the NGOs said it would be an embarrassment for the Commission to ignore the issue because there is such strong support for a ban.