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Tories vote against reducing plastic bag waste

March 11, 2014 10:57 PM

North East Euro-MP Martin Callanan has voted against EU proposals to significantly reduce use of plastic bags.

The European Parliament's Environment Committee yesterday evening approved EU targets to cut plastic bag use, despite vocal opposition from Conservative MEPs.

The EU proposal will set a target of reducing plastic bag use by 50 per cent within three years and 80 per cent by 2020.

Marine litter is a particular issue in the North Sea, where 70% of marine waste is the result of plastic bags.

Commenting on the vote, Lib Dem Euro-candidate Angelika Schneider said:

"We need an EU-wide approach to prevent the enormous damage being done by plastic bag waste to the North Sea. Plastic bags not only blight our beaches in the North East, they pose a serious threat to marine wildlife.

"Evidence consistently shows that large numbers of seabirds and fish around the coast are contaminated by plastic waste, often from plastic bags.

"By voting against these proposals, the Tories are sending out a clear signal that they don't care about preserving our marine environment for future generations."