The new European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker has already been forced to back down on its plans to scrap key environmental proposals.
Vice-President Frans Timmermans (pictured) had planned to scrap proposals that aimed to reduce plastic bag consumption in Europe, describing it as “overregulation”.
But he has now confirmed that the Commission was overruled by the European Parliament and European Council on how to implement a target to reduce use of thin plastic bags by 50 per cent by 2017 and 80 per cent by 2019 compared to a 2010 baseline.
Frans Timmermans criticised the proposals saying that the new Commission believes better regulation could have been developed.
He added: “This is what the Member States and Parliament want, and at the end of the day what we want to achieve is fewer plastic bags in our environment. The proposal, as it has been mandated, will indeed lead to that.
“If there later on will be problems with the implementation, then it’s something that the Member States will have brought on to themselves.”
In April this year, the European Parliament voted in favour of targets for bags that are thinner than 50 microns, as it said these are the form of bag that causes most litter and pollution.