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Plastic bag ban delayed to April

European Commission has yet to approve the law, which would banish single-use bags from shops

A BAN on single-use plastic bags in all French shops, which was due to come into force on January 1, has been delayed for three months.

The measure, which is part of a wide-ranging law on the transition to renewable energy, is awaiting approval from the European Commission which asked for clarification on some minor points.

The ban was approved by parliament in September and environment minister Ségolène Royal hopes it will create jobs in the manufacturing of biodegradable and long-life bags.

Hypermarket chains have already reduced their plastic bag use over the past decade in a voluntary agreement. The number of bags they gave out fell from 10.5 billion in 2002 to 600 million last year. Some shops charge a few centimes to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.

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