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Plastic Carrier Bag Agreement

Green Deal is a voluntary agreement between the state and the business sector. The aim is to promote the sustainable development goals. The parties that commit to the agreement agree on a shared goal, measures to achieve this, and monitoring. The agreement can be used as a steering instrument instead of legislation.

The Ministry of the Environment has concluded the first Green Deal agreement with the Federation of Finnish Commerce (Plastic Carrier Bag Agreement) to implement the EU Directive by a voluntary agreement instead of a legal instrument. 

The agreement is in force until the end of 2025, and the aim is to make sure that Finland reaches the reduction targets for the consumption of plastic carrier bags in the EU Directive on packaging and packaging waste. The aim is that by the end of 2025 no more than 40 bags per person per year are used. The reduction target concerns all plastic carrier bags in retail outlets, excluding very lightweight bags provided for loose food such as fruit and vegetables and when required for hygiene purposes.

In the agreement the Finnish Commerce Federation gives a commitment extending to 2025 to encourage and advise companies in the trade sector to join the agreement on plastic carrier bags, support advisory and information campaigns, monitor the fulfilment of the objectives, and deliver the monitoring data to the Ministry of the Environment.

The Ministry of the Environment will assess the impact of the measures on reducing the consumption of plastic carrier bags and preventing litter after three years from concluding the agreement. If the conclusion is that the measures taken have not been effective, the Ministry will consider other means to reduce the consumption of plastic carrier bags.

Companies in the trade sector are free to decide on the measures and how these are to be implemented. The issues to be included in the measures are at least the following: advice and information is provided to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags and prevent littering; there is a price for lightweight plastic carrier bags; and very thin plastic carrier bags are no longer available at retail outlets on a self-service basis.

The commitments of trade sector companies will be attached to the Green Deal and Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development, where the public authorities together with other actors make a commitment to promote sustainable development in their activities.

Published 2016-11-28 at 6:57, updated 2020-02-19 at 8:03