Bans on thin plastic shopping bags have been appearing throughout the world, usually enacted on a local or regional basis. But the European Commission is looking hard at such a ban for all of Europe and using the results of a recently closed survey to justify its decision. Some plastics trade groups now claim the survey was rigged by anti-plastic lobbyists.
Feedback from the survey, which was available online and ran from May 17 - August 9, 2011, was overwhelmingly in favor of a bag ban, but trade group officials say the odds were heavily stacked against them and their member companies. This week the German association of plastics packaging (IK; Bad Homburg, Germany) harshly criticized the EU commission's survey. "It was not only incompetent in content and misleading, but also has not reached the European consumer, since it has only been available in an English version. Therefore, it was mostly lobbying organizations using the survey portal for their own purposes. Because of all this, the result of the survey cannot be considered to be a reflection of the general opinion of the European consumer," was the conclusion of the association, which represents more than 300 plastics packaging processors and claims to be the largest association within the plastics industry in Europe....