The following information is a summary of the requirements of the Directive. It is not an area in which we currently offer advice but you may find some useful information and links here.


Most plastic bags on retail consumer products display a warning label to warn about the dangers of plastic bags to small children. However, the legal status of such warnings is complex.

The hazard which such warnings are trying to protect against is one of suffocation of small children. Suffocation can take place either because the child places a bag over their head, or because the plastic is flexible enough to form an airtight seal around their nose and mouth. This latter hazard is a particular risk to infants who are unable to support themselves. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, deaths have occurred where cot mattresses have been left wrapped in thin plastic bags or sheet when the child has been put on them.

Factors which affect the risk to children are the size of the bag opening, the type of closure which the bag has (i.e. drawstrings are more dangerous than other types of closure), the thickness of the material and whether or not it has any perforations.

There is no legal requirement for child warning labelling on plastic bags in Europe. However, warnings usually a condition of supply for most large retailers so in practice nearly all products sold have such warnings on the bags they are contained in.


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