Austria to ban most plastic bags starting in 2020

Austria's Cabinet has approved a ban on most plastic bags, set to take effect at the beginning of 2020.

Under the legislation initiated Wednesday, Austria's center-right government plans to ban all bags that aren't fully degradable. It also plans to ban the addition of tiny plastic particles to cosmetic and cleaning products, unless the European Union has a solution to that issue before 2020.

The government says that the planned ban would eliminate 5,000 to 7,000 tons of plastic waste every year. It says that Austria is going further than European Union rules require, and that it is joining France and Italy in introducing bans on non-biodegradable plastic bags.